Phil Collins classic song “I can feel it coming in the air tonight” is an excellent lyrics to explain what is happening in the tech world in Revelstoke.
While this community thrives and survives on Canadian Pacific Railway, Downie Timber and the logging industry, one major change that has been present over the past 10 years is the infusion of tourism. Tourists have been coming to Revelstoke long before the ski hill came into play, however the hidden gem of Revelstoke was just that; hidden.
With hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars is being poured into marketing Revelstoke world wide. While there will always be room for local marketing in terms of what is going on and what fundraisers are happening, the money is being spent worldwide to draw in the elite tourist who is willing to come and play and of course, leave their money behind.
As many of those tourism from many different working sectors come for a visit, they too fall in love with what this tiny mountain town has to offer; a Whistler- only better. Why is it better? It is all a matter of personal preference, but one theory could simply be Whistler was built around the hill, In our case, the hill was built around the city. Very real, and long time families have lived here before skiing became “epic”. That is a characteristic you can’t fake. Real people are what makes this community.
For an individual who perhaps codes, or works strictly online in varied markets, may have the ability too choose to live wherever they wish as their work is remote. The tech sector in Revelstoke is growing, it may not be a monstrous staff list like CP has, but it is growing. The younger generation follow lifestyle, they place it high on the priority list, where it could be argued our baby boom generation went where the work was and where good pay was given and a nice life could be made, but work was the priority.
With this new growth, like minded individuals band together to share experiences and network within their technologically advanced worlds. This is where StartUp Revelstoke has stepped in. The Mountain Co-Lab and Community Futures have been working together to draw in in these tech entrepenuers and raise more awareness to those also in a similar situation in terms of work and life style preferences, that Revelstoke is a place to live, raise a family, play and also work remotely.
A social gathering at the new Mt. Begbie Brewery location was met with eager entrepenuers to become infused into the working fabric as well as the social fabric of Revelstoke. The gathering, while social in nature was also a way for Community Futures to start seeking answers as to what the up and coming entrepreneurs are in need of, so perhaps in time these tools, products or programs could be implemented here in Revelstoke, making it easier for lone wolf entrepenuers to thrive as well as entice others to consider Revelstoke to be a place they call home and bring their tech driven business to the community.
The Mountain Co-Lab on 2nd street has been a huge success in terms of bringing unity to the technical community, and Community Futures is looking at a Co-Lab space to be built sometime in the next year to house the growing tech industry that is slowly being woven into the fabric of Revelstoke.