Industry News

Industry Retailers Rising Above and Beyond While Promoting Passion & Growth in Snow Sports

May 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

MOUNTAIN: Cole Sport
NEW ENGLAND (TIE):  Buchika’s Ski & Bike, Colorado Ski Shop
NORTH CENTRAL: Aspen Ski & Board

North Central Retailer of the Year

Aspen Ski & Board Co.

Gil Harris, Owner


Years in business: 17
Locations: Lewis Center, Ohio
Favorite thing about the snow sports industry: Helping customers have a great experience on the mountain. I just love getting people involved with skiing and snowboarding.
Why you like going to the Show: I can get all of my business done all at one place, and all at one time.
What sets you apart? We’re super customer service-oriented. One prime example of that is every person gets a handwritten thank you note that buys anything from us. High-quality boot fitting is also a strong suit for us, and the third thing for us is we try to stay uber-competitive with the Internet deals going on and making sure people can afford snow sports here.
What’s the most difficult part about selling snow sports gear in Ohio? The consumer is very driven to season leasing versus buying. Our season-leasing program has gone through the stratosphere for both children and adults, and I’m worried about the long-term commitment to skiing from parents and kids. When you own the equipment, you tend to go a little more, and there’s a little more passion involved. 

Read full interview here.


New England Retailer of the Year

Colorado Ski Shop

Diane Jaber, Co-Owner


Years in business:
Locations: West Springfield, Mass.; Enfield, Conn.; and West Dover, Vt. Favorite thing about the snow sports industry: Winter sports are what we are passionate about, and because of that, it’s good to share them with our customer.
Why you like going to SIA: It’s just great to go to see everyone together in such a great venue.
What’s the main thing that sets apart Colorado Ski Shop from its competitors? We really pride ourselves on putting the customer on the right product. If the kids want the freeride stuff, we get them the freeride stuff. If a customer doesn’t need a $500 boot, we don’t provide them with a $500 boot. We really put them in the equipment they need to do what they want to do.
What does Colorado Ski Shop do to acquire returning customers? Our staff is the best staff in the whole wide world. They’re trained, they know the answers people are looking for, and that’s what brings our customers back. They’re going to see someone they can trust and that can deliver them that same service.

Read full interview here.


South Central Retailer of the Year

Neptune Diving & Ski

Dennis Salisbury, Owner & CEO


Years in business: 17
Locations: Nashville, Tenn.
Favorite thing about the snow sports industry: I just love the relationships we have with our customers.
Why you like going to the Show: It’s a chance to not only spend more time with our reps, but to get to better know the executives that run the companies.
What kind of approach is Neptune Diving and Ski taking toward customer service? Having a passion for the business and our customers is huge. And when people realize we’re here for one reason, to take care of our customers, they leave our shop with smiles on their faces. Because of the passion we have, a lot of our new customers end up here through word of mouth, which is pretty incredible in this day and age.
What’s the most difficult part of selling snow sports gear in Tennessee? The hardest part is being this far away from major ski areas. Most of our customers only get to take one or two ski trips a year, so they don’t wear out their equipment as fast. The other thing, particularly with hardgoods, is that it’s hard to convince them that they need their own equipment when they don’t go too many times per year.
What does it take for a shop this old to stay on top? Most of our regular customers just trust us and know we’re fair. And it’s been great to see over recent years how many people really like doing business locally. I hear it all of the time. But the key to hanging in there is that you have to make a lot of sacrifices to get off the ground. Winter sports are sensitive, so it’s important to maintain little or no debt and build some cash reserve for those tougher years. 

Read full interview here.


Congraulations to all of the winners!


Photos from the 2016 SIA Snow Show

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