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GA Checkpoint Celebrates Fifty Years

A Rich History With A Twinge Of Mystery

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Story by Joe Leary

Photos supplied by GA Checkpoint

GA Checkpoint has a history that dates to 1973, when it was simply known as Pit Stop, selling Yamaha motorsports and marine equipment.

That eventually led to a name change and growth to five retail locations around the Lower Mainland within the first five years. Today, the business has been streamlined with two fortified locations in Port Coquitlam and Abbotsford.

Owner Gord Aulenback has been in the business of selling fun for over half a century and in 2010, joined forces with Brendan Keys.

In doing so, the pair have added multiple boat lines, including Hewescraft and Kingfisher, while also expanding the area of inflatable boats, and are now the largest such dealer in the Pacific Northwest and the largest Yamaha dealer in Western Canada. 

Yamaha is the brand that Gord first aligned with and he has stuck with them for fifty years. Fun is a generational thing and given the fact that GA Checkpoint has a fifty-year history in the marketplace, our clients and customers must become more than just that. They become family, he says. It’s all about relationships, adds co-owner Brendan Keys. We see the young guy in his 20s buying a dirt bike from us and then they’re coming back years later with their family to buy a boat for them all to enjoy. Our focus is to get our customers outside and to be able to enjoy the wonderful lifestyle we enjoy in BC.

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In fifty years, you know your business thoroughly and your customers; and the level of service offered is second to none.

The business has become an unqualified success and Aulenback attributes that to the Yamaha name. “The product is second to none,” he notes. GA Checkpoint is all in on the Yamaha brand: motorcycles; eBikes; ATVs; outboard motors; wave runners; infl tables; sport boats; aluminum boats; fishing boats and anything else that you need for water or on- or off-road.

“Our success at GA Checkpoint is the passion because we are selling fun,” says Keys. “If someone wants to go waterskiing or if somebody just wants to get out and explore the coast or go all the way across the Strait of Georgia in all types of water, we’ve got a boat for you.”

In fifty years, you know your business thoroughly and your customers; and the level of service offered is second to none. Another vital component is the knowledge of the staff at GA Checkpoint.

“They enjoy being here and selling the products that we offer and have contributed to the success of the brand over 50 years,” says Aulenback.

“And seeing the enjoyment on the faces of the customers, and getting the feedback from them after the fact—that’s what it’s all about. We love introducing new people to the outdoor lifestyle through motorsports and marine.”

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