Bad winter's impact on local ski stores

Mar 25, 2014 7:35 PM

“This is definitely the gnarliest I’ve seen,” Chico Sports LTD board shop worker Lincoln Coyer said of this year’s winter ski conditions.

When it comes to winter sports, gnarly is typically a good thing. But this isn't your typical winter.

“We normally have all this gear out on the floor,” Coyer said, pointing towards a room of ski equipment rentals. “But we pulled the plug early and moved everything back here.”

At Chico Sports LTD, it’s been tough sale for winter sports gear.

“Dude, everybody’s closing it up,” Coyer said. “Calling it, you know, without the snow.”

Because for a ski rental and repair shop, a season without snow is a season without dough. And this season is the slowest season Coyer has ever seen.

“No tunes. No rentals. Nobody is buying hard goods,” he said. “We’ve got stuff from last year that’s half off and this year’s gear is all discounted. We just trying to get rid it.”

Sports LTD owner Matt Smith said Mt. Shasta's lost ski season is a big and unexpected factor in the early closure of his board shop.

“The truth is that we didn’t realize how much we depended on the Mt. Shasta business until this year,” he said. “When it was gone, you notice it.”

With a diversified sporting selection, Smith should survive this bad winter. But he says many traditional ski shops aren't as lucky.

“Many have already closed their doors this year and cut their losses,” he said. “And that’s the only thing to do when there is absolutely no one walking through your door to even try a pair boots on or rent a board.”


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