Best of Whistler 2012: Shops and wares 

Best Place for Deals

In the number one spot, just like 2011, is the  Re-Use-It Centre . It is a money-saving jewel on Alpha Lake Road in Function Junction where pre-loved items go to find new homes, and sales proceeds are used to fund 75 per cent of programs and services offered by the Whistler Community Services Society. Whether you need skis and boots and other sporting items, household goods, books, clothing or interesting little finds for gifts, shoppers are supporting social programming and environmental sustainability. Earlier this year, it was even selling donated artwork, including a lithograph by late actor Anthony Quinn.

Comor Sports came second for deals, and Whistler's Gap rounded off the top dealmakers in third place.

Best Bike Shop

For those of us into biking of all sorts, going into  Fanatyk Co.  is like hanging out with family and friends, family and friends that can work through any gear bugs and get the wheels spinning again, literally. Voters knew this last year, and they voted them number one in 2012, too. Fanatyk Co has sales, service, and rentals.

Other honouree stores in a town full of bike lovers are The Bike Co. in second place and Summit Sports in third.

Best Ski Shop

 Summit Sport  is Whistler's largest sports shop with 7,500 square feet and this year they've scaled the summit of popularity this year by being voted in as Whistler's best ski shop. That's some feat in a town built around the slopes. The company offers full rentals, sales and services for ski needs and has three locations around Whistler.

The winner in 2011, FanatykCo., came a close second, while Comor Sports was third in this category. 

Best Snowboard Shop

 Showcase Snowboard, Surf & Skate Shop  takes the best snowboard shop prize in 2012, just as it did last year. Snowboard culture is front row centre here, says Sarah Temporale, who describes herself as a "lead hand" at the store. "We try to set ourselves apart with exceptional customer service," she says. This includes a two-week training session at the start of the season to look into new products. "We get the downlow on them. We also try to make sure our staff are good personable people who are not too cool for school."

Evolution and Prior also won plaudits for their snowboard products and services, coming second and third, respectively.

Best Shop for Women

Clothing and accessories store  Aritzia  gets the top prize for women's clothing sales in Whistler. Store manager Ashley Ormerod said being a Vancouver-based company really helps them in the resort. "It's a definite plus for us because it means we are well-known in B.C. for our local clientele, but it also means that international customers can get an introduction into Canadian retail."

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