evo, the popular action-sports retailer, announced Monday, October 23, that Whistler Village Sports, Excess Backcountry, Excess Ski + Sport, Mountain Riders, and Sportstop, all of which are located in or near the Whistler Village, will transition into evo stores between now and the fall of 2019.
Seattle-based evo, which was founded in 2001 by former professional skier Bryce Phillips, has three U.S. flagship stores in Denver, Seattle, and Portland, along with a major online presence. The Whistler additions will be evo's first storefronts located outside of the U.S.
Phillips moved to Whistler in 1997 and originally began selling skis purchased from Whistler Village Sports on eBay in the late '90s.
"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," says Phillips in a press release. "Whistler is a global icon, a Mecca, for all that love to mountain bike, snowboard, ski and even skate."
Whistler Village Sports Ltd., which was founded in 1980, has served as one of the leading outdoor retailers in the Whistler area. Although the company is changing hands, evo announced that all of Whistler Village Sports' employees will stay on through the transition, including owner Dave Milley.
"I started buying skis from Dave [Milley]/Whistler Village Sports. I could never have imagined that nearly 15 years later we'd be buying the business," says Phillips. "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."
For both evo and Phillips, their entrance into the Whistler market is a sort of homecoming—a move that allows a story of entrepreneurship and a love for the outdoors to come full-circle.