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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    836

    Holy Crap, We just bought a Ski Shop...

    Title pretty much says it all. My wife and I, along with a small group of like minded investors recently purchased a local shop I have been working at for the last 7+ years. We are now two and half months in, things are off to a great start, ski swap is next weekend, and it appears that we picked a good year to get this deal done.

    Not sure what my intentions are with this thread, or where I see it going, but it seemed worthy of a post. Maybe this could become a place to introduce myself and our shop to this community. Maybe it will be a place people where people can let us know how much better the other shops in town are. Either way ideas, comments, critiques, and general BS is more than welcome.

    A little beta on the shop-

    The shop was started in the mid 70's and has been in operation ever since. We focus on Custom Bootfitting and Ski and Snowboard Tuning.

    -Ski Hardgoods: Volkl, Blizzard, Atomic, Tecnica, Lange, Rossignol, 4Frnt, Nordica, Salomon, Fischer, Marker, Look.

    -Snowboard Hardgoods: Bataleon, Salomon, Ride, K2, Rossignol

    -Clothing and Accs: Trew, Powderhorn, Eider, DNA, Under Armour, Spyder, Oakley, Smith, Smartwool, POC, Giro, Dakine, Scott, Hestra, Swany, 686, Ride, Coal, Skullcandy, Contour, etc...

    I'm sure i'm missing a few. We are open year around and in the past have focused primarily on watersports in the summer, although we have plans to change that. Longboards, SUP, Golf?? who knows...

    Anyway, If you ever in my neck of the woods be sure to stop by and swap a ski story over a cold one. I can promise a Mag will never be denied a deal. Skiing has always been at the center of my life, and I am so incredibly excited for the future.

    LET IT SNOW!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Sandy, UT
    Posts
    198
    Congrats Bro, you gotta put a SPAM warning up though. Good ups on pulling the trigger, way better working for yourself than anyone else. Best wishes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SLUT
    Posts
    3,351
    good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    905
    congrats man - way to take the plunge and do something related to what you love for a living.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    ... at a computer
    Posts
    232
    Congrats! I envy your big brass balls.
    "That's what she said."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Out There
    Posts
    1,750
    Congrats Brian, I wish you every success. Its only spam if you mention the name of the shop. Like, for example, you would say, "Hey maggots, come on down to Spokane Alpenhaus for free swag." Otherwise its not spam.

    Did you guys buy Vince out?

    Not sure of the economics or politics, but how about differentiating yourself by bringing in a few indy products? Say, Lhasas? On3p? DPS? Praxis? Ski Logik? You get the idea.
    "We need sometimes to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what. -George Santayana, The Philosophy of Travel

    ...it would probably bother me more if I wasn't quite so heavily sedated. -David St. Hubbins, This Is Spinal Tap

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Upland, CA
    Posts
    5,400
    Congratulations!

    Remember one thing tho - make sure your employees understand that not every skier drives a Merc or BMW SUV, or wears fur, bogner one-pieces, needs a system ski, etc. Shouldn't be a problem in Spokane, and it sounds like you have plenty of experience and knowledge in the sport, but a lot of ski shops lose sight of that. I never cared for being looked down upon.
    Last edited by Jumper Bones; 10-25-2011 at 12:55 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine Coast
    Posts
    2,705
    Find out what your customers are into that you can fit into for summer sales. SUP is hot now. Congratulations on being a part owner of a business you love.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    The Padded Room
    Posts
    5,311
    congrats... advice.. throw out skis. sell real snowboards
    .....Visit my website. .....

    "a yin without a yang"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5,657
    Good luck!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Duluth
    Posts
    2,663
    We are going through in March, We'll stop in on our way to Rossland and get all the stuff we forgot at home. Good luck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    836
    Thanks for the congrats...

    Yeah Duke, he still has the boat business but there has been a full severing of ties between the ski shop and the boat shop.

    We will be looking hard at the ski wall again this spring but, all things considered, I am really happy with our wall this year. We added Blizzard and Atomic this year, a move that has really paid off. As for "indy" 4Frnt is a start, and we have had good success since adding them to the line up 3 years ago. You'll see new stuff in the store ever year I can promise that. We'll just see how the testing goes.

    Bushman,

    Hope you do end up making it through, have you been to Red before?


    And Cyber Cop,

    I'll take your suggestion under consideration. Snowboards currently comprise about 20% of our hardgoods business, it would sure be a noticeable change for our customers. What exactly constitutes a "real" snowboard? If you could carry five Brands what would they be?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    EC
    Posts
    2,343
    Congrats Brian. I'd like to chime in on the question above.

    Since you're in the NW, I'd feature Lib Tech and Gnu. They're really popular, made in WA, great boards. If you carried enough of them, I honestly don't think you'd need another brand. I guess them and K2 would complement each other nicely.

    I wouldn't carry Rossi and Salomon boards.

    Another option would be Prior snowboards. Made in Whistler, bomber freeride decks. They make some nice splitboards.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    bucks county pa
    Posts
    2,510
    good luck and best wishes to you and your wife.....hope its a fantastic season.....both snow and sales
    always forward but never straight

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    here and there
    Posts
    14,825
    Best wishes for success!
    watch out for snakes

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    where the beer flows like wine
    Posts
    2,383
    sounds like you know what you are doing. shoot me a PM if you ever want to swap stories some time.

    good luck.
    Big skis from small companies at Backcountry Freeskier

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    11,693
    Quote Originally Posted by luffski View Post
    Congrats Bro, you gotta put a SPAM warning up though. Good ups on pulling the trigger, way better working for yourself than anyone else. Best wishes
    This is not spam.

    Congrats and I hope you the best!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    EagleDenverVail
    Posts
    281
    Sent you a PM a couple of weeks ago. I will be up in Spokane next week.

    Congrats...sounds like a dream come true! I always wanted to own a ski shop/adventure travel business. Good luck!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    earth
    Posts
    5,094
    that is awesome! good for u man!

    snowboards...JONES!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    339
    Congrats! Some Indy brands would definitely bring me into your store to fondle the goods, but my loyalty usually stems from great bootfitting and a great shop (for those nasty repairs/mounts I am too afraid to do myself). If you have that, I will gladly check you out sometime.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    3,101
    Quote Originally Posted by Brianskis View Post
    If you could carry five Brands what would they be?
    Lib Tech, GNU, Never Summer, Jones and Burton. Maybe ROME. Personally I would rather NOT carry Burton, but the big B is usually a good seller. For bindings I would go Union.
    I think you have me confused with someone who is far less awesome.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Vail
    Posts
    358
    Quote Originally Posted by advres View Post
    Lib Tech, GNU, Never Summer, Jones and Burton. Maybe ROME. Personally I would rather NOT carry Burton, but the big B is usually a good seller. For bindings I would go Union.
    Yeah this is good advice. Regardless of personal opinion, not selling burton is definitely shooting yourself in the foot. its the most popular, best selling snowboard brand, without exception.

    Other advice...order more splitboards than you think you will need. They barely exist past october in my experience.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    44.9 degrees North, 93.1 degrees West
    Posts
    532
    Working in a field you are passionate about? How cool is that! Congrats and best of luck.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Somewhere around the west
    Posts
    2,590
    If a customer asks how magnets work, play hard to get.
    Johnny's only sin was dispair

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    On Vacation for the Duration
    Posts
    11,226
    I'll just relate a tale told to me by a successful specialty retailer years ago. "The products we love and sell pay for all of the costs related to running the business. I get to keep all the money from the shoe polish and our summer sidewalk sale for myself."

    Congrats and have as much fun as you can. It'll spill over.
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

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