By Eric Elliott
Its been 18 years since Eric Lange and Jeremy Donald opened up shop at Syndicate Boardshop and theyre inviting the public to celebrate that accomplishment on Saturday, November 12th with a party at the Invermere Community Hall.
Mr. Lange, co-owner of Syndicate, moved to the Columbia Valley from Winnipeg in 1993 in search of a better environment for his passion for snowboarding. For him, its a bit of surprise the business has been around for 18 strong years.
I didnt think it would necessarily last this long, but its pretty cool for sure, he said. It started out with very humble beginnings so we were never really looking past the next month or year. Youre just trying to get through the next month and eventually its 18 years down the road.
This years birthday party will feature a Kids Carnival starting at 5 p.m., which includes a Burton Riglet Park, trampoline and bounce park in addition to face painting and a number of other carnival games.
Mr. Lange said that the Riglet Park will allow younger kids to get on a snowboard for the first time in some cases, which may help them ease into the sport. Unlike other years where Syndicate held their birthday party at a licensed establishment exclusive to people of drinking age, Mr. Lange said they wanted to open it to a wider group of people to get everyone involved.
Lots of our clientele are not 19 and lots of them have kids as well, so we wanted to do something that -is a better representation of our clientele, he said.
After the Kids Carnival, they will be hosting a movie premier for adults along with live music from local band, the Small Town Dirtbags, going late into the evening. Sponsoring the event are Burton, the Panorama Mountain Freeride Club, Arrowhead Brewing Company, Glacier Peaks Gymnastics and the Dirtbags.
Mr. Lange said that for himself and the staff at Syndicate, 18 years is quite the accomplishment and he hopes many throughout the valley will join them next weekend at their party.
Eighteen years is a long time in board sports retail, he said. A lot of shops in our line of business dont necessarily last that long so its a testament to the quality of the area and the town.