Update: March 30th
Today we got our first concerned statement about being open. The decision to be open in these heavily modified ways was not arrived at lightly. We struggled with this choice but know what we are doing is helping. We will all do our part in our own way.
Just as with outdoor sport and adventuring, safety is always our first priority. We prioritize the safety of our guests and staff above all else and have put these measures in place to do our part to keep everyone healthy and safe. It is cutting our revenues significantly, but it is the right thing to do.
Changes made to operations;
- We’ve limited store access to one guest or family pod at a time
- We don’t support “just checking stuff out” at this time
- We’ve added a sanitization station and with gloves available to all who enter our store
- We take 15-minute appointments to aid people’s day plans
- We have social distancing measures marked in our stores
- We do not allow try on of clothing in store
- Any returns are isolated for seven (7) days before going back on the floor
- We no longer have personal meetings
We know that physical distancing, or in some cases isolation, is the key to winning this war against Covid-19. Squamish is likely the best spot in Canada to deal with this sort of event. In large urban environments it is almost impossible to get outside without crossing social distancing boundaries. Elevators, stairwells, crowded areas etc abound. In Squamish most of us can get outside for a hike by simply walking out our door, we are blessed.
You may wonder why we haven’t just closed our doors. We stay open because we believe we have a part to play in this unfolding event. Going out for a hike, a walk, an easy bike ride will help keep you physically strong. We want to support that. We also know that in these uncertain times the benefits of going for that hike by a river or in the mountains provides massive mental relief. Something that is in short order now a days. Getting to those outdoor spaces often requires gear to help keep you safe. Something as simple as a really great waterproof jacket for a mellow walk in the woods can go a long way.
In the past we also supported the personal social interactions that could happen while out on the trail. The safest possible location to do this sort of personal interaction is outside, while maintaining proper distancing.
As times change, we now feel that it is best to only do these hikes with your family pod. The next few weeks is going to be crucial for our province and for thousands within it. Let’s not mix groups together, even outside. It is also not a good time to try out a new sport like ski touring. There is minimal or no SAR support at the moment, make extra plans on getting yourself home safely. Injuring yourself and taxing our health care system at the moment would be terrible. What would have been a simple arm fracture could now be life altering. Our rescue and health care system may not be able to help you. Be extra careful in all your endeavors. All of these efforts will make a difference.
Our business also has a responsibility to our staff, suppliers, landlords etc. We have staff who have to raise families, have mortgage or rent payments and need to live their lives. Staying open and providing some sort of income and stability for them is paramount for our business. They make us as strong as we are, and I appreciate them. As the owner of the business I value immensely the communities support as we do everything we can to support our employees.
I know not everyone will agree with us and I accept that. I believe we are being responsible and helping people. Be tolerant of others, look after each other and wash your hands.
Update: Message March 20th
Regular operations are suspended as of Saturday March 21. Social Distancing is key.
We will have staff in the store from 9 to 12 daily, but the door will be closed. We will make 15-minute appointments with single family groups. We can arrange ski mounts, help with hiking gear and get you the things you need to get outside, go for hikes, ski tours and bike rides. When that group is finished, we wipe down and take the next appointment.
Your outdoor activities need to be done at a very scaled back level, we do not want to stress our front-line health care or SAR people. Be safe.
Please call the appropriate store to make an appointment or see how we can help. We will be available from 9 -12 daily.
Escape Route Whistler 604 938 3228
Escape Route Squamish 604 892 3228
Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre 604 962 3228
Be Safe, practice social distancing and look after each other.
James and crew