Action sports retailer evo has announced the completion of its purchase of Whistler Village Sports Ltd.
Evo, the action sports retailer based in Seattle, Washington, yesterday announced the completion of its purchase of Whistler Village Sports Ltd. and its five retail locations in Whistler, British Columbia. This is evo’s first physical presence in Canada and brings together two businesses and founders whose paths intersected early on in evo’s history.
“Had anyone asked me where I’d hope to plant a flag, anywhere in the world at some point, it would have been an easy answer,” said Bryce Phillips, evo founder and CEO. “Whistler is a global icon, Mecca for all that love to mountain bike, snowboard, ski and even skate. The breadth of activity and the fact that it’s been designed to appeal to all abilities make this place very special.”
Founded in 1980, Whistler Village Sports Ltd. has grown to one of Whistler’s largest independent retailers under owner Dave Milley. The company operates five retail stores: Whistler Village Sports, Excess Backcountry, Excess Ski + Sport, Mountain Riders and Sportstop. Each of the locations specializes in outdoor and action sports, ranging from mountain biking and skateboarding to snowboarding and backcountry skiing. All of the company’s employees will stay on through the partnership with evo, as will Milley.
“Whistler Village Sports was one of the first sports stores in the Village, and I know Bryce will continue our independent legacy and keep that part of Whistler going as a community store,” said Milley. “We have a lot of long-term staff that have been with us with years of experience, and everyone is stoked on the fit with evo. They have a very similar culture and attitude toward the business and enjoying the outdoors.”
“Dave and his team have built an amazing business and we feel fortunate to get an opportunity to learn from their successes,” Phillips said. “We bring something very different to the table, and we believe we can leverage the ‘best of’ across the partnership. While we have three existing stores, we don’t yet operate in a resort market. Conversely, Whistler Village Sports has not been web-focused, so we believe there’s tremendous upside in combining what we do online with their retail expertise in Whistler. We look forward to how we can have a positive impact on the local community, partnering with non-profits like Zero Ceiling and providing opportunities for the staff to volunteer with the organizations of their choosing.”
“Bryce and I met years ago when he was looking to buy some demo skis,” said Milley. “He was a young guy trying to get his start in the ski business on the internet. We told him he had to pretty much take them all, which he did, and we stayed in touch ever since.”
“I’m not sure that there could be a more full-circle story,” said Phillips, who moved to Whistler in 1997 during the beginning of his professional skiing career. “After launching the original evogear.com website in 2001, I started buying skis from Dave/Whistler Village Sports. I could never have imagined that nearly 15 years later we’d be buying the business. To be spending time here with my wife and kids, building relationships with the Whistler Village Sports team and connecting with good friends throughout the Sea to Sky corridor really is a dream come true. I can’t wait for all that is to come.”