April 1, 2016
NEW BASECAMP FOR ADVENTURE COMPANY
There is new life on Patricia Street as a local adventure company takes their business out of the garage and into Jasper’s downtown.
For the past five years, through their company Rockaboo Mountain Adventures, owners Max and Lisa Darrah have been introducing people to Jasper National Park’s crags, cli s and couloirs. Moreover, by connecting them to these wild spaces, they’ve been helping their guests discover something within themselves.
Now, by moving their headquarters to the Patricia Centre mall, Rockaboo Mountain Adventures is hoping to not only take the next step with their mountain guiding company, but also add value to Jasper’s commercial business district.
“We want to bring energy and value to Jasper, not just for us but for the whole community,” Max said.
Since 2008, Max has been taking people climbing in Jasper National Park. When he obtained his full guide’s certification in 2010, Rockaboo Mountain Adventures began in earnest. Business has been brisk—this winter they o ered daily ice climbing trips—and as such, the Darrahs have been on the lookout for downtown commercial space. When an opportunity to sublease the former office space of Wild Mountain came up, they jumped.
“The minute we walked into this space we knew it was exactly what we were looking for,” Lisa said.
On March 28, Max was hanging 10 feet above the floor in what will soon become the “guides’ room,” of Rockaboo Mountain Adventures’
new storefront. He was securing a retractable drying rack from the i-beams in the ceiling, but he was also dreaming big for future Rockaboo missions. Max and Lisa envision expedition flags decorating the space, mementos of adventures launched from Jasper.
“I see this place as a base camp for cool missions with people who nd that meaningful, whether it’s climbing mountains in remote regions around the world or experiencing our own mountains, which are world-class,” Max said.
Rockaboo’s progress seems to be well-timed.
Adventure tourism is growing exponentially; Jasper’s destination marketing organization is encouraging visitors to “Venture Beyond”; and most travel experts suggest 2016 will be another banner year as a weak Canadian dollar lures U.S. tourists north.
Downstairs from the Darrahs’ new digs, Patricia Street Deli owner Glen Leitch is excited to welcome Rockaboo to the neighbourhood for what he anticipates to be a busy, challenging summer.
“People attract people,” he said. “This mall is going to be the place to be this summer.”
Leitch is hopeful that plans to eventually replace the obtrusive escalator are put into motion. Patricia Centre landlord Gus Vlahos confirmed he was considering the renovation.
“Imagine what this place could look like if it’s opened up,” Leitch said. “I want to put more seating in, invite musicians to play. If it’s raining, this place will be a destination in and of itself.”
It’s all gravy to the Darrahs, who have been delighted by the support and interest they’ve received since moving in last month. If everything goes according to plan, they’ll have a grand opening May 1.
“We’d like to make this into a hub,” Lisa said. “We want to compliment the other businesses around us.”