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New business: Active NW will be off and running soon

Locally owned store for runners, hikers, walkers to open in central Vancouver

VANCOUVER — Ben Christly is used to running a business. Now he is getting into the running business.

Ben Christly, left, and Ron Homer are ready for the opening of Active NW, a store focusing on athletic shoes and apparel. Christy, the owner, and Homer, the manager, are hoping the central Vancouver neighborhood continues to support locally owned businesses. Christly also owns Ben’s Bottle Shop in The Mill shopping center. Photo by Paul Valencia
Ben Christly, left, and Ron Homer are ready for the opening of Active NW, a store focusing on athletic shoes and apparel. Christy, the owner, and Homer, the manager, are hoping the central Vancouver neighborhood continues to support locally owned businesses. Christly also owns Ben’s Bottle Shop in The Mill shopping center. Photo by Paul Valencia

Combining his passion for fitness and community, Christly is about to open a new store, right next to his restaurant.

In doing so, he is counting on the central Vancouver community to continue showing support for small, local businesses.

“We live here. We play here. We don’t just open it and visit it now and then,” Christly said. “We’re committed to improving this community in any way we can.”

That is how Active NW got its start.

The logo includes trees, a Northwest touch for the runner, hiker, or walker. Photo by Paul Valencia
The logo includes trees, a Northwest touch for the runner, hiker, or walker. Photo by Paul Valencia

“The reason we chose active in our name is … our goal to help people get active,” Christly said.

Active NW has scheduled its grand opening for Saturday. The store is located next door to Ben’s Bottle Shop, a beer and wine taproom and restaurant, also owned by Christly. Those are two of several businesses in The Mill, a shopping center located at 7950 E. Mill Plain Blvd.

Ron Homer, managing member and buyer for Active NW, noted the location has easy access for athletes to run or walk at nearby David Douglas Park and Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway Trail.

For the opening, customers can mix and match socks, buying two pair to get another free. Or buy a pair of shoes and get a pair of socks. There will be raffles, as well. Oh, and it is possible that a brew from a nearby taproom will be available to those old enough to partake – just a benefit of owning two different businesses, right next to each other.  

Find your adventure at Active NW, a new shop for runners, hikers, walkers that is scheduled to open Saturday in central Vancouver.. Photo by Paul Valencia
Find your adventure at Active NW, a new shop for runners, hikers, walkers that is scheduled to open Saturday in central Vancouver.. Photo by Paul Valencia

 

Ben Christly owns two businesses at The Mill, his taproom and now Athletic NW. Photo by Paul Valencia
Ben Christly owns two businesses at The Mill, his taproom and now Athletic NW. Photo by Paul Valencia

Active NW will have a “heavy focus” on running, roads and trails. There also is a “deep interest” in hiking and walking, Christly said.

 

Shoes, hats, shirts, shorts, tights, socks, hydration products. Even specifically designed detergent for workout clothes because regular detergent just does not battle sweat in workout clothes, Christly noted.

Running, he said, “is one of the easiest sports to get involved with. Everybody can do it. There is not one pace that defines a runner. Whether running a 15-minute mile or a 4-minute mile, running is running.”

Families can enjoy it together, he said, noting that mom, dad, the children, and grandparents can participate in fun runs. Active NW, in fact, has plans to be involved in all kinds of those events throughout Clark County.

Christly, who has lived in the Northwest for a decade and Vancouver for nearly five years, opened his restaurant in December of 2015. He has seen big changes in the area.

Active NW will open Saturday, next door to Ben’s Bottle Shop taproom at The Mill shopping center on E. Mill Plain Blvd. Photo by Paul Valencia
Active NW will open Saturday, next door to Ben’s Bottle Shop taproom at The Mill shopping center on E. Mill Plain Blvd. Photo by Paul Valencia

“A lot of young, active families have moved into the neighborhoods,” he said, adding they are looking to places they can support that are locally owned.

He will be giving those families another option, starting Saturday with Active NW.

“We just want to welcome people to our store. We’re just excited to open,” he said.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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