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Can A Ski Manufacturer "Own" A Ski Town?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Just got back from Telluride.

I swear that K2 owns that town.

Pretty much every person I saw on the hill from obvious gapers to visiting tourists to locals was riding K2 skis.

All of the shops in town prominantly display K2 (or Line or Volkl, other K2 owned skis) in their window displays.

I felt like a serious anamoly with my boutique skis.

Really, though, it just surprised me that one company pretty much dominates the town.

I've honestly never been to a resort where it seems that everybody only favors one brand.

So, does anybody know if ski manufacturers have deals with certain towns so as to basically have a monopoly not only on rentals, but also retail?
post #2 of 21
I dunno, but you just listed the only three "name" brands I give a hoot about these days anyway. So IMO, good call on the town's part

If I got serious for a moment, I'd bet there's rep who is really on top of their selling in that neck of the woods. Nothing more or less than that. But then, I'm just guessing because I'm procrastinating on all the things I really should be doing at the moment...
post #3 of 21
K2's biggest tele dealer in the Rockies is Paragon Sports here in Telluride. Also, two out of the three biggest ski dealers in town sell and rent them. I happen to ski either K2's or Wagner Customs myself. I remember traveling around and noticing the same thing. Certain ski areas just seem to have a favorite "home brand." I swore that Hart Outbacks were the only skis allowed in Crested Butte, Blizzards dominated Snowbird, etc, ...
So to answer your question. No, ski companies have no power to "own" a resort town.
post #4 of 21
when the last time you were at snowbird? DCNB? last time I check snowbird was a dynstar dominated mountain with strong influnce from Volkl and boutiques. I skied there today whens the last time you skied there?

heck snowbird and dynastar are even partners and one of there biggest names Jeremy Nobis is on snowbird's payroll too.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
DCNB, i have a feeling i saw you up on the ridge off of 14 on Friday...some dude dressed in black wearing Wagners on his feet, had to be you. that was some damn coldness up there!

and yeah, Paragon, Telluride Sports, and Jagged Edge all had massive K2 (or affiliated, as in Karhu, Line, Volkl) displays in the windows.

I was a little bummed as being a gear whore I like to peruse the shops and see a wide variety of brands lurking against the walls.
post #6 of 21
Dynastar certainly owns Chamonix.
post #7 of 21
I've noticed that Rossignal and Soloman have a huge presence at Whistler. I went into a couple of ski shops looking for Elan, and one shop guy didn't even recognize the brand name.
post #8 of 21
And of course Skiarea Valchiavenna practically belongs to Blossom, but then everyone knows that...



These are mine: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?p=839787
post #9 of 21
This is how I felt at Taos over New Year's. It seemed that everyone, from jeans-wearing gapers to patrol, was on Salomons, excepting the hordes of Texans who brought out their 1985-vintage PRE and Olin noodles. Almost every shop seemed to rent nothing but Salomon stuff.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
DCNB, i have a feeling i saw you up on the ridge off of 14 on Friday...some dude dressed in black wearing Wagners on his feet, had to be you. that was some damn coldness up there!

and yeah, Paragon, Telluride Sports, and Jagged Edge all had massive K2 (or affiliated, as in Karhu, Line, Volkl) displays in the windows.

I was a little bummed as being a gear whore I like to peruse the shops and see a wide variety of brands lurking against the walls.
Yeah, that was me and my buddy Mike heading up the lifts to do a lap down "Suicide 6" (a couloir with a 150 ft. cliff/choke in the middle that must be rappelled to ski). It was so cold that my "soft" shell was crinkling, and my freshly (cold)waxed skis were sticking to the snow! My entire ski day consisted of that one 2,000 ft. chute.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
Yeah, that was me and my buddy Mike heading up the lifts to do a lap down "Suicide 6" (a couloir with a 150 ft. cliff/choke in the middle that must be rappelled to ski).
Yeah, but I'll bet you've never skied Hunter West...
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
I felt like a serious anamoly with my boutique skis.
Isn't that what you want if you have boutique skis?
post #13 of 21
The only ski town K2 owns is in Asia.
post #14 of 21
The Hart Outback story was true though! AS I recall it, in the 60's and early 70's anyplace in the midwest you went you saw Harts, due to the plant being in ST. Paul since 1955...
post #15 of 21
I hear there are a lot of Metrons at Deer Valley...


In the late 80s/early90's my local hill was dominated by K2
post #16 of 21
I vaguely remember when everyone at Telluride was on "The" Ski (and that tells ya how old I am...!)
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by doogiedoc View Post
I vaguely remember when everyone at Telluride was on "The" Ski (and that tells ya how old I am...!)
Yeah, gear companies "owning" ski towns are constantly rotating!
post #18 of 21
Influence. Simple as that. Someone skis on a ski, likes it, and tells their friends. Some reps are really, really good. Mark my words, you'll see more Blizzards in Aspen in the next 1-3 years, and fewer Volkls. Just you wait and see!
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
I've noticed that Rossignal and Soloman have a huge presence at Whistler. I went into a couple of ski shops looking for Elan, and one shop guy didn't even recognize the brand name.
Rossi/Salomon must be Intrawest's favourites, like you I could find very little else - annoying as I was trying to buy some Volkls. Asked in one of the resort owned shops and the guy said it was a case of just checking all the independent shops. Finally found one...

Elan make very nice, good value yachts too. Didn't realise they were the same company until a few months back...
post #20 of 21
Go to Altenmarkt see what happens.
post #21 of 21
Can they "own the town" .... sure .... no doubt about it!

If the SSD and the shop at the hill and the dominant shop in town are pushing that brand; it's a happening thing.

When the SSD comes into the ITC and offers new skis and bindings to all of the high school and college kids for $150 (bottom line), and these kids are getting a deal and probably the first new skis in years ..... that is powerful medicine. Essentially "all" of the instructors are on "XYZ's" so they have to be great!

But, you rep for "ABC" and sell a few pair to your fellow instructors and guess what the attitude of the SSD becomes toward you? You learn to keep a low profile.

At one hill where I worked and Rossi was the dominant brand via the SSD, I was trying to get the Volkl rep to get me skis ..... I had Rossi's when I walked in but had been trying Volkl's and wanted them. No way ... the guy wouldn't come near me. I couldn't understand why ... till I started repping.

You learn to keep a low profile and hide in the shadows.
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