Meet Honza, part of our Summit Family, who is competing in Crankworx 2017. We sat down to chat with him about his upcoming event, as well as why he travelled over 8000km from his hometown of Pardubice, Czech Republic to come and live in Whistler.
When asked how he thinks he’ll do, he answered “I think I can win it! If not, I’ll never hear the end of it!”. Read the rest of the interview below.
Summit Lodge: Thanks for sitting down with us Honza. It must be coming up to almost a year that you’ve been with us at the Summit Lodge?
Honza: Yeah, nearly a year. Its flown by!
SL: It certainly has. What’s your favourite thing about the Summit Lodge?
H: My old room in staff housing! Haha, but seriously, I like room 301, it has a really cool Whale rug.
SL: So this will be your 5th Crankworx, which event are you entering into?
H: I’m entering into the Enduro Challenge for the second time. The format of the event means you get to compete alongside the professionals, which really adds to the atmosphere.
SL: How do you think you’ll do?
H: I think I can win it! If not, I’ll never hear the end of it!
SL: How long have you been biking?
H: 30 years
SL: What are your three favourite events at Crankworx?
There’s something uniquely intimate about living in a small town like Whistler.
Personally knowing the people who make up our community fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility. For us, we see the hotel as huge pot of potential that has the location and resources to benefit both visitors and residents, alike.
We understand that excellent customer service can make or break your vacation. We’re also very aware that great customer service comes from happy, healthy and confident employees. Whistler can be a tough place to live full-time. Raising a family here is expensive, and employment can be unsecured, with many businesses laying-off staff in the spring and fall shoulder seasons.
At the Summit Lodge we’re proud to lead the way towards more sustainable employment in Whistler’s hospitality and tourism industries, and would like to say a huge thank you to all our guests for helping us work towards our goal. Without our guests, none of this would be possible. Thank you.
By starting small and sharing our results, we hope to encourage more local employers to follow suit by proving that sustainable year-round employment not only makes good business sense – in terms of employee retention, wellbeing and customer service – but that it can also enrich the community.
How We’re Creating Sustainable Employment For Our Staff
Cross-training our staff so that they can support other departments
Invest in educating and training staff with skills that will help them progress their career towards higher paying roles in the future
Avoid redundancies in the slow season by offering our staff the opportunity to learn new skills with our maintenance and repairs team
Offering further skills training our maintenance and repairs team so that we can use existing staff for renovations and upgrades instead of hiring outside contractors
Residents who can comfortably afford to live, work and play here make for happier, healthier employees, and by reducing unemployment in the shoulder season we hope to reducing the strain placed on the Whistler Community Services, and have more employees with a higher disposable income – which, in turn, is beneficial to the local businesses and the Whistler economy.
Whistler’s Success Is Our Success
Whistler is only as successful as its community, and the town’s residents play a huge role in the success of all the businesses who operate here. Whistler residents interact with our guests on the chairlift, in stores, and at events – long after guests have left our hotel. So it is in our best interest to have a happy and healthy community.
Alongside supporting our human residents we’re also mindful of our animal residents, and we recently made a $500 donation to Whistler Animals Galore through the continual sales of our made-in-Canada Stuf’d sock monsters.
We regularly donate high-end prize packages to local charities, NPF’s and good causes such as Whistler Search and Rescue, WAG K9 Wine and Dine, and 5 Days For The Homeless, to help generate awareness and engagement. Out GM, Tony, is an active member of the Pemberton Lions and we donated our time and services to build them a new website and a suite of promotional materials.
Instameets are gatherings of people coming together to connect, explore, and celebrate their creativity, via Instagram.
The Instameet ran from Feb 6th – 10th 2015 and was arranged by travel and adventure mega-couple The Expeditioners as part of The BC Project – a year long journey promoting British Columbia as the ultimate outdoor adventure destination. Naturally, we just had to be involved!
Our instameet highlights in photos
Instagrammers came from far and wide including Alberta, Washington and Oregon to join up with us on various days of the Instameet. Here’s our photo journal looking back at some of our highlights of the week:
To us Christmas is about the joy of sharing what you have with others, so this year we decided to run a slightly different Holiday contest: The Christmas GIFTaway! Instead of just having a regular old sweepstakes, here you’re gifting this prize to someone else (and hopefully if they win they’ll bring you too).
1. Share a photo of what “deep winter” means to you both and tag the person who you want to win
2. Like, follow or check-in (add Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel as your location on the post) on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (or all of them for extra entries)
3. Add both hashtags #XmasGIFTaway & #Whistler
4. Poke the person you tagged and get them to do the same for you
Whether it’s your best friend, spouse, brother, sister, dog sitter or neighbour you can share lots of photos and enter as many times as you like.
We don’t like it when things get complicated so there’s only one rule: you cannot nominate yourself.
Legal stuff: Winner will be chosen at random and notified on Dec 24th at 6pm PT, via the social media channel on which they entered. Reserve the right to cancel or change the contest at anytime and without notice.
#SummitLovesWAG is a project that literally evolved on Twitter overnight, and we’re so excited that we’ve been able to make it happen with help from a few of our online friends. Hopefully you’re interested to find out all about it, so let us fill in the gaps:
Gap 1: While very excited last night that we had 1976 followers, we tweeted this…
Gap 2: After a few retweets @timberloo suggested this this…
Gap 3: And then @tatterededge one-upped us and added this…
Gap 4: We’re now donating 50¢ to WAG for every new Twitter follower in October!
It really happened just like that. We asked our Twitter followers what we should do and this really means a lot to them, so we’re going with it and we’re incredibly excited! It’s not often, on social media, that you get to be part of something that genuinely has a direct impact on the community you live in. This is incredibly apt as it is also National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, too – this impromptu fundraiser couldn’t have happened at a better time.
Sometimes the universe lays out the pieces and you just have to put them together. Thanks cosmos!
Gap 5: What is WAG and why is it important to us
Whistler Animals Galore (WAG) was founded in 1982 when two friends identified the need for an animal rescue service in the Sea-to-Sky corridor. Since then, WAG has grown into a respected community asset that has found ‘forever homes’ for thousands of animals from great danes to guinea pigs. Without them, many of our furry friends would not be living the happy lives they have today.
To some people 2000 followers might not seem like a lot, but to us this is a big deal. We relish every opportunity to meet new exciting people – and now we know almost 2000 awesome people, on Twitter alone!
For example, just yesterday we came across this a gorgeous photo of musician, actress and writer Alexandra Staseson at Lost Lake on Instagram. Interested in how her songwriting was going, we found her on Twitter which then lead to her visiting us in person for an inspiring creative afternoon at the hotel.
We love our online family, so when we realised we were almost at 2000 followers we asked everyone on Twitter what we should do to celebrate…and this is the happy ending.
How to share, follow and help raise money
First, please start by following us on Twitter at @WhistlerSummit. Second, share this post with everyone you know so they too can share the story of #SummitLovesWAG. Thirdly, please include the has hashtags #SummitLovesWAG and #SummitCommunity so we can track the progress.
Thank you for being part of the adventure!
p.s. It would be incredible if this went vital and we raised provincial or global awareness for WAG. Having said that, this awesome impromptu fundraiser was not in our budget, we just wanted to help make one of our followers ideas become a reality. So should it go viral, we sadly will have to cap our donation at $1000, but we will donate our time and social media networks to continuing to promote Whistler Animals Galore!
After a two year break, Pecha Kucha Nights are set to return to Whistler on October 17th 2014, and we can’t wait!
If you’re familiar with the original Pecha Kucha Nights (here or anywhere else) you’ll know why they’re now becoming known as “that thing that’s kind of like TED”. It’s not the most glamorous description in the world, but it’s pretty accurate given that this humble little night of intellectual and creative presentations has now grown to become an international network.
The new Whistler Pecha Kucha nights are being organized by the Brown Owl Social Club, who have arranged some great local speakers. Volume #7 is themed “trepidation” and will have presentations covering a range of topics from mountaineering, to engineering, to photography.
Pecha Kucha is the Japanese “art of precise presentation” where you present your idea with only 20 slides and 20 seconds to talk per slide. Each Pecha Kucha talk will then last about 7 minuets, so if you’re new to it you don’t have to be up there for very long!
Here’s a couple of examples of our faves, just click the images to watch the Pecha Kucha:
1. Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time 2. Transformer Apartment
The format was invented by two architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham from Klein Dytham architecture for one simple reason: “architects talk too much! Give a microphone and some images to an architect (or most creative people for that matter) and they’ll go on forever!”.
During a Pecha Kucha talk the images advance automatically, so there really is no way you can get suck rambling on one point for too long.
What are Pecha Kucha Nights?
PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, work, thoughts, projects, adventures – just about anything, really – in the PechaKucha 20×20 format. Presenters are arranged before hand to keep everything running smooth and on time, and there are typically between 5 – 10 different presentations in one night.
These nights are super casual, anyone can join and anyone can present. If I’d like to talk at the next Pecha Kucha please send a quick email to vicky[at]brownowlsocialclub.com.
Who can talk at a Pecha Kucha Night?
Anyone, that’s the beauty of it. Whether you’re 5 or 75 if you’ve done something rad, learned something new or made something you’re really proud of you can come and share it.
The key to a Pecha Kucha slideshow is just to talk about something you love. Most people use PechaKucha Nights to present their latest creative projects or work, but some people share their passion and show off their prized record collections, while others share their latest holiday photos, adventure journals, artwork, favourite recipes or even new inventions. The youngest person to do a Pecha Kucha was a 5 year old girl who talked about her drawings!
“We’re always looking for people to tell their stories. We have such an incredible community of creative and intelligent people in Whistler. This is a great way for us all to get together and discover what projects eachother is working on, and maybe find new like-minded friends.” – Victoria, Founder, Brown Owl Social Club
Victoria recommends that new presenters watch a few Pecha Kucha presentations online first to get a good feel for what it’s all about.
Sign-up to talk at a Whistler Pecha Kucha Night: email vicky[at]brownowlsocialclub.com
Is Pecha Kucha like TED?
It’s kind-of like TED in that you’ll learn a heck of a lot from the super smart, adventurous and creative people in your community in short, sharp shots of inspiration.
But at the same time it’s not like TED at all, because with a Pecha Kucha night you can get up from behind your computer screen and actually meet, make friends with, and share a beer with the people who present.
Come and join a real social network for the creative and curious!
Whistler is awash with adventurous activities and interesting people to invigorate your body and mind…but would you believe us if we told you there’s more to Whistler than meets the eye? And that, if you really try, you can experience a whole new creative subculture that most don’t even know exist?
Well, we’re proud to say you can and we’re inviting you on a journey – through our new blog series #SummitCulture – that we promise will change your perception of Whistler, forever!
Follow the#SummitCulture hashtag across our social media platforms to discover the unique Whistler events, activities, social scene and awesome local people that typically pass under the radar of 90% of visitors and 60% locals, and it’s our goal to get you involved, and having a great time.
To get in amongst the good stuff, though, you’ll have to venture off the beaten path, most likely learn how to read the bus schedule, and be comfortable getting to know new folks. Sounds fun, right?
Yeah, it does.
Tell Me More I Want to Get To Know #SummitCulture!
Awesome. We’re glad you’re in, welcome to the club.
Now, to stay ahead of the curve we recommend you sign up to our newsletter at the top right of the page. Each newsletter will contain (amongst other great tidbits) the latest Secret Whistler entry as we create them roughly every 2 weeks.
Jitter juice, jet fuel, morning thunder…what ever you choose to call it coffee is important to locals and guests here in Whistler. It perks us up on early morning pow days, gets us up for extended play in the bike park after a long day at work or out adventuring, and it is regularly used as a gift from guests to retail assistants to show appreciation for really great service.
So being at the heart of a town that some-what runs on ‘jitter juice’ we are regularly asked by people who stay with us “Where’s the best coffee in Whistler?”.
When asked, it’s a question we ponder carefully because no-one wants to be ‘that person’ who recommended a bad coffee. So after rigorous, and somewhat scientific testing, we stumbled upon Whistler’s best kept coffee secret and we’re about to let you in on it.
So shhhh, don’t tell everyone.
The Big Secret: Emma at Mount Currie Coffee Co.
Whistler’s secret coffee weapon is not a special bean, an innovative new machine or a particular method, as you might expect. It’s pure passion…. in the form a person.
A person we’re going to call “Emma”. Why? Because that’s her name and we really want you to ask for her next time you’re in town!
Disclaimer: You have to be in Mount Currie when you ask for her, we can’t guarantee you’ll get the right Emma (or even coffee) if you ask for her at any other establishment in town
Where She’s From: Calgary, Alberta
Moved To Whistler: June 2014
Lives In Whistler Because: “The mountains are right there! In Calgary you have to travel to get up the hill, here it’s right on my doorstep”
What Makes Emma’s Coffee So Awesome: She was trained by some of the best barista’s in the country – Phil & Sebastian, in Calgary. Coffee-lovers you may know Phil & Sebastian because their staff regularly make appearances at The Canadian National Barista Championship as competitors and judges. And thankfully for Whistler, they passed on their golden knowledge to our new favourite barista, Emma.