How is business going? Sunlight Ski & Bike Shop experiences increase as people rediscover passion for the outdoors

Kale Hall, a Sunlight Ski & Bike Shop ski and snowboard technician, waxes a snowboard Saturday as a waxing machine uses infrared light to heat-treat the wax applied to the skis.
Ike Fredregill / Freelance Post

The wave of interest in outdoor sports created at the height of the pandemic in 2020 is losing momentum, but a year later sales remain strong at Sunlight Ski & Bike Shop, said store manager Russell Cabe .

“Things aren’t quite what they used to be, but there’s constant demand, and our numbers are still higher than before the pandemic,” Cabe said. “Supply chains were a challenge last year. They are getting better, but not perfect, and that also leads to a bit higher demand. »

Located at 309 Ninth St., the ski and bike shop was founded around 1989 by Sunlight Ski Resort to strengthen the connection between Glenwood Springs and the resort, Cabe said. Although snowboards aren’t in the store’s name, Cabe and his team made a strong point that snowboards are also a key part of the business model.

“The store was originally located in an A-shaped building near where Jimmy John’s is now, but we moved to Ninth Street in the mid-’90s,” Cabe said. “We have been offering the same services since our opening: sale, service and rental of skis, snowboards and bicycles.

In recent years, customer interest in bicycles, alpine touring (AT) skis and cross-country skis has increased significantly.

“They were getting big before last year, but I think a lot of people thought they were great during the pandemic because you could ski or bike anywhere, and it was very easy to distance yourself from others,” Cabe said.

When COVID-19 hit, the resort was nearing the end of its winter season, but the ski and bike shop was gearing up for summer.

“We ended up doing a lot of business outside in the large parking lot east of us,” Cabe said.

While some industries have been forced to lay off employees, increased sales have allowed Cabe to retain most of its staff, and the store hasn’t suffered from the same labor shortages plaguing other industries. other businesses across the country.

“We have great staff and we’ve been very lucky to retain them,” he said. “Our people are great at pitching ideas we’ve been working on this year.”

Both Sunlight Mountain Resort and the store have seen an increase in new customers in the area, and hopes remain high that they will return for the 2021-22 winter season.

“There’s a lot of positive feelings that we’re looking forward to a good snow year,” Cabe said. “I believe a lot of people discovered what our hidden gem had to offer last year, and I think they will be coming back for more.”

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at [email protected]