Thirteen years ago a shop opened in Golden which gave lovers of snowboarding and skateboarding a place to call their own.
The shop, today known as Darkside: Snow, Skate, Life, was brought to life by Robyn Nutt and Peter Navin, along with the financial assistance and industry know-how of the original Rude Boys, Rob and Greg.
Tired of the scene in Banff, Nutt and Navin made the decision to move to Golden after the announcement that Whitetooth had been purchased and the ski area that they frequented on weekends, was about to expand.
“At the time, we felt there was room for a small, core skate/snowboard shop in town. That, combined with having the endless terrain this area has to offer in our backyard. We made the move,” said Nutt.
Since then, the shop has seen a name change, a slight change in ownership, and has doubled in size.
“Like every business, we’ve had our ups and downs. But I’ve always done what I could to maintain a somewhat core image within the shop. Changing with the times is inevitable,” she says.
Nutt describes Darkside as a place where kids of all ages love to hang out.
“I can see how it could be overwhelming to someone walking through the door for the first time, but the Darkside Daycare kids are harmless,” she says with a smile.
“We have our loyal customers who have definitely helped us get to where we are today. I’ve met tons of great people over the years and always look forward to seeing the new faces that often become familiar by the end of the season.”
Owning her own business has given Nutt the freedom and flexibility to enjoy the lifestyle she has become accustomed to.
“Let’s just say that the store has somewhat flexible hours. The 20 cm rule is always in effect. When it snows, we ride. I can’t imagine being obligated to a 9 to 5 job, and missing out on pow days,” she said.
Nutt also added that all of her staff have in-depth knowledge, not only of the gear they sell, but also the mountain and terrain they have spent countless years exploring.
“Everyone is super passionate about riding. I don’t hire people who are uninterested in what this area has to offer. The majority of the people who have worked here over the years are legit locals, born and raised in Golden,” Nutt said. “I’ve watched these kids grow up and have had the pleasure of getting to know them over the years. I love the relationships, and the mutual respect that exist between all of us.”
One of the original Darkside Daycare crew/employees is Bruce Oatway who has practically grown up in the shop.
“This is a great place to work and a better place to come to shop and hang,” he said.
Nutt continues to patiently anticipate the progression of the town itself and would love to see the core downtown area develop into a place that entices people to spend time, peruse, and inevitably shop.
To see what’s in store at Darkside, drop by 517 9th Ave. N. in Golden.