Simmone Lyons (34) from Portland in country Victoria went to Canada with the intention of staying for 12 months. But (in her own words) “got stuck” for eight years. As an advanced snowboarder and keen intermediate skier, there are worse places than Whistler Blackcomb to get “stuck”. Actually, you could say that being stuck in Whistler is a bit like winning the lottery!
After reading this interview, you’re going to be envious of her workplace too! Simmone is the Marketing Manager at Scandinave Spa Whistler.
The downside is vegemite is pretty expensive in Whistler but like most enterprising Aussies in Canada, Simmone manages to get a continuous supply from family and friends.
What’s it like to be “stuck” in Whistler?
Most of my work day is spent at my desk dealing with emails, working on graphic design projects for marketing pieces and video projects.
I live in a year-round resort, lunch breaks can be spent in the spa, on the ski hill or on the mountain bike trails right outside my office door.
What are some of the challenges?
The hardest part is finding a solid friendship group. Whistler is such a transient town with people coming and going your always saying goodbye.
What’s it like at Scandinave?
Scandinave is a little hidden gem in Whistler. Yes I know I’m a little biased but even before I worked at Scandinave I was a massive fan and regularly purchased one month passes. There is no shortage of adventure-based activities in Whistler but life balance is important.
Whether you’re on holidays or a local, taking time out to relax and rejuvenate from mountain activities is essential for muscle recovery and managing stress levels just to maintain a few reasons.
My first impression of Whistler
At first it comes across as a hive of activity and parties filled with transient people. Now after eight years here, it is still an action-packed lifestyle but you realise there is an amazing tight-knit community that is really supportive.
What’s the difference between skiing in Canada vs Australia?
I worked at Mt Hotham back in 2004 and I’ve snowboarded in several resorts in Australia and New Zealand.
The terrain just doesn’t compare to what we have to offer in Whistler. The runs seem endless in comparison and the snow quality is unbelievable.
Powder days take on a new meaning in Canada. True white fluffy powder days are unbelievable.
Three things I love about Whistler
1-The people with their endless enthusiasm to participate in activities.
2-The mountains and everything they have to offer.
3-The endless free activities on offer, lake hikes, frolf (frisbee golf), whiffle golf, hiking, snowshoeing…..
Why would Aussies love Whistler?
Whistler offers one of the longest ski seasons in North America. There are endless activities and you have world-class facilities in a small community.
How do you handle the cold?
In Whistler we’re pretty lucky it doesn’t get as cold as the interior resorts in the Rockies. Yes there is some – 20 days but only a handful of these. As long as you prepare yourself with quality gear the weather isn’t a problem.
Has your family visited?
I’m pretty lucky I actually have two of my brothers living here as well and the rest of my family come out every year so we’ve ticked off all the sites over the years from the Peak 2 Peak to Scandinave Spa.
What do you do in your free time?
Snowboarding and a lot of mountain biking when the weather permit. I’d also recommend cross-country skiing, zip lining and snowmobiling. They are all pretty unique cool experiences.
What are you tips on how to get the best out of a Whistler holiday?
Plan ahead to make sure you can take in all that the area has to offer. Whistler isn’t just a ski resort there are lots of things to do so do your research.
There’s so much to do in Whistler that you don’t need to be a skier or snowboarder. In fact, even if you are a skier or snowboarder I’d encourage you to take a day or two off the slopes to experience everything else Whistler has to offer.
What are your favourite places to hang out?
Stonesedge is one of my favourite lunch spots. I also love Brick works for a catch up and beers with friends.
What’s on your bucket list?
Ideal family road trip?
Kick it off in Vancouver and make sure to check out Gastown and Flyover Canada. Head up to Whistler for at least four days but I’d recommend staying longer if you can. Then head for the Rockies, Banff, Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway.
What are three things you’ll miss most about Canada?
I don’t think I’m coming home but I do thoroughly miss the Australian beaches. If only I could transplant one of those to Whistler I would be in my dream home town.
My dream job would be a home-based marketing job so that I can still live in Whistler and enjoy this amazing lifestyle.
Simmone Lyons is the Marketing Manager at Scandinave Spa in Whistler. She is from Portland, Victoria.
1-The best time of year for snow is March. It’s a little warmer and more suitable for Aussies but the snow is usually the best and there are plenty of powder days.
2-Plan a day-trip to Pemberton if you can as the views of Mount Currie are spectacular.