Keith is the winner of the event in our last episode! He also won the people’s choice award! He has started Whistler’s first online community of people with a passion for outdoor adventure that want to save money, consume less and be part of the “sharing economy” while meeting others like themselves. He is creating an opportunity for outdoor adventure seekers to create next, rent gear, share knowledge and save money. Click to listen to Anyssa C and Kathy White in the next Epic Lifestyles Podcast.
Epic Lifestyles Pod Cast 4, July 2017
Hi this is Kathy White my goodness it’s already Independence day in the USA and we just celebrated our Canadian 1/50 consideration and or celebration in Whistler with Sonny sports and activities and the beautiful Vancouver Symphony orchestra concert in the Whistler in that class and we invite you to plan ahead for summer 2018 of course we have lots of summer to go in here and Whistler and lots of special events that we both enjoy.
And now we have and today we have a guest here related to our last podcast with the Whistler center for sustainability and we talked about it before they had a challenge and but the call and she helped him through the event and this is our winner Keith H. who is joining us here today. He is just and he’s just going to outline some of the great aspects of participating in that event and where he hopes to take his business model as the winner of the 2017 Keith tells about how it felt to win.
Keith: Well, it felt good!
It was an interesting experience altogether
There was a lot of value I got
Out of the whole program. Any amazing program to have here in Whistler. I was really excited to be a part of it. From start to finish there were a lot of good people and good ideas, and nice to slowly walk through my business idea. I was able to go through the process of
1) this is my idea
2) then what do I need to do to make this into an actual business that is going to be successful
3) and also show the social aspect of it and look at how that is goi g to work and play into a business plan.
That was very interesting to figure all out, and exciting to win, and a nice validation of how the idea played out in my head and if people would actually be interested in. Winning the people choice award was awesome as well.
Anyssa: what was your timeline from the idea to getting to the winner’s spot.
Keith: it has been a long time coming and many ideas before this one. I had been playing around and going to different business events. Through one of them, I heard about the sharing economy which really got me interested. Then through some other ideas I had, I was part of a mastermind group, and through that one of the guys was starting a market place for fishing. He was doing custom fishing lures and rods for people. So he had started a market place but I don’t think it totally worked out…
He shifted gears to something else but it is up and running, he doesn’t put much effort into it anymore. He had a lot of glitches as far as the software he was using – but luckily I do not!
Kathy: The website is Www.gearsharehub.com
and you can go here and connect with Keith and ask him your questions and ideas on building this sharing economy and building the connection between our residents and visitors to Whistler and the Vail resorts. Looking at how one could prepare for a visit to the community and then save some costs by not bringing some of your gear from the mountain resort you are living or city you are coming from and just renting equipment here and connecting with a resident from the community who may share those secret little places or hikes on the lakes and rivers.
Anyssa : I think even just getting tips on where locals shops and purchase. Purchasing olives for example – there is a shocking difference in price depending on where you buy them.
Since I moved here in August, Nearly a year, I am still learning. I heard some people walk by me the other day saying “I wish they had a beach ” we do! Several.. There are so many little things that, just by connection with a local person every time you are here, that if you are coming back multiple times, and most people do come back, you will get to know the community better.
Once you have been to Whistler it is hard NOT to come back. There is something learn about this spot every time you come. It is like they say Venice is two different cities depending on the season that you go. The Carnivale is the big one ( and there are much more) I think Whistler is the same, it is nearly a completely different town or experiences from winter to summer.
Kathy: one of the other things too, is Keith was saying the the sharing economy was happening in the larger cities but not so much in mountain resorts. When doing the research for the website and setting up your business I know you had a business mentor and had several points of reference to go through to create your business plan and take it further. I find it interesting that the sharing economy started inside the cities and is then going out to the resort areas. So what was the group that you connected with that is doing sharing of equiptment in the city?
Keith: so there are a couple different companies opporating in Vancouver already. Shareshed which was recently acquired, and another that just started up, that is not out door gear specific but anything and everything that you can share on one platform. So I have see many in cities but not so often in resort towns. And I think resort towns are very special places that have a special sense of community amongst ourselves. We often share, and support each other and if we can bring that sense of community to the people that visit here, and strengthen what we already have, it would be a pretty amazing thing!
Anyssa: it is interesting we have car sharing going in Vancouver but we don’t see that here.
Keith: actually we do! Zipcar recently in the past couple years brought two cars here.
Anyssa : BCAA has a fleet in the city called EVO – I think they are all hybrid and have roof racks for equiptment but I don’t see them up in Whistler. I think if you are already in the careshare mindset, then Equitment is a small leap.
Keith: yes, there are air bnb and all sorts of different sharing platforms and communities where it’s people helping out others.
Anyssa: like our Whistler community Facebook page that help people find their lost cell phones and help each other out if they need rides etc . And even money returned.
Kathy: so part of this business model is you are Teri g to build up your inventory of sports equiptment in the Whistler resort corridor. You are going expand it from there I understand as well. Is there any equiptment in particular you are looking for such as ocean going kayaks for example? Tents..
Keith: good question, we are still doing a little more research on what is the most popular and sought after equiptment is. But definitely snow boards, skis are a bit tough because of adjustments to the bindings.
Anyssa: my roomate this winter set me up so I could try both left and right as I have had a hard time deciding since I had a concussion. I ultimately gave up after 5 minutes as I couldn’t get going and downloaded.. but it shows how easy it can be to set an Board up for starters.
Keith: skis are a bit more technical and would probably have to go to a shop for adjustments first before they take them out. But for the summer, canoes, camping gear, stuff to get people out on the lakes.. I thought about moving to Pemberton but it is so nice to have 5 lakes at my door. 3 within walking distance of where I live.
Anyssa: I am just learning about the temperature difference between them! I was swimming in Lost Lake and then they said watch out for Nita Lake and wow that is cold!
Kathy: so paddle board and SUP’s would be great for the summer.
Keith – yeah! A big one too! And especially inflatables ones as they are easy to transport. And obviously the mountain bike scene here is massive. So that sort of thing to get people around and get them into the bike park.
And snowshoes, split boards example as I find that a lot of people have friends who do a lot of back country skiing but they don’t have the equipment to go on the trip. So they have that essential crew of people that they can go with but not the gear to go with them. I feel like that is a pretty key one .
Anyssa: I know we saw Jackets for Jasper at the event, there must be a market for that as well as I see many guests at the hotels come in and purchase coats and warm gear and leave it behind because they won’t use it again or the kids will have grown out of it by the time they get back again. So maybe that one time rental of wearables might be a good base as well.
Kathy: when I was a ski instructor here in the 1980s a lot of people were here from Japan. And of course they had no storage back at home. By suitcases full of clothing and ski equipment end it would end up in the charity shop.
Anyssa: luckily hear our charity shot goes to a great cause to support our local food bank and community services, as well.
Kath: it is an interesting society of here A resource and renew and recycle and socially responsible. So I really applaud Keith, in his business model where you want to take it from here and set it up as a business model. You can expand with systems and current coverages and proper forms so that everyone from the renter to the rentee is taken care of. And they are knowledgeable about the equipment so they can proceed safely.
Anyssa: we have all been very well educated in the waiver form it’s our local weekly magazine it didn’t expose on a waiver form issue that came up over the past year. InThe Pique Magazine I believe in one of the June issues.
We are all little more educated than we might’ve been six months ago.
Keith: yeah idea is to consume less and use the things that we have to sitting around. In storage. Like my Kayak which are use only I had full of times for year and it’s it’s under my deck the rest of the time.
Anyssa: my snowshoes are the same
Keith: I would Love to see someone go out and enjoy these things if I can make a few bucks on the side as well that’s great.
Business is the way to change the world, so blending these two things is a win win.
Anyssa : thanks for influencing your generation and it will change how they think.
Kathy: I think it would be great when you have your marketing piece together people take photos and those are attached and shared on social media. Adventures this equipment will go on instead of sitting in the garage will be great.
Anyssa : so every time we do a podcast we also do a life hack and so mine is about equipment some to go first this time and I take a kayak paddle with me as well as my SUP puddle when I go so that if I get tired or feel out of balance I need to rest I can just have a back sit down paddle back with the car paddle and just take it easy and get my heart rate back down especially if it’s windy.
I have a concussion and can’t get my heart rate up for more than 15 minutes so I’m really cautious and this helps me take a break so that’s my lifehack.
Kathy: well mine this week was to do the kayaking down the River of Golden and Dreams. We had family in town and it was one thing everyone could do together. Other than the very young, it is something everyone can do together with lots of ways to travel down it. We ended up borrowing three kayaks from friends, so Gear Share Hub will be something we will choose in the future as it took us a while. So next time it will help us locals to find the equiptment and resources. It would have saved me a lot of time. It is one of the most beautiful rivers with interesting Corners!
It’s amazing, with portages and comes out at Green Lake. You can take an organized tour or what we did and sourced our own equitment and a vehicle at both ends ( note be very aware of water levels if you are not using a guide on this trip as there are bridges to make sure you can get under or prepare to get out and go around if the water is too high)
Keith: soooo my life hack has nothing to do with outdoor activities.. i’ve always had jobs it got me up quite early. But getting up that little bit extra early to ease myself into the day very helpful one for me. Just kind of waking up early, relaxing having a cuppa coffee maybe doing some stretching or something to get the blood following. It has served me pretty well.
Anyssa : well it seems to be one of very successful people.
Keith: I read the Miracle Morning and that was really helpful.
Kathy: thanks everyone have an epic week!