Here in SoFLA, it is hard to get a feel for the industry, really! Here in the Palm Beach County area we have two Peter Glenn ski & snowboard shops, both well place for high visibility.
I was in talking with Peder in the Juno Beach shop, I'm having some Mojos mounted up, and he says that while biz was off just a bit, that they don't see much change looking ahead to '09/'10. They are always slow in the summer, except for their South America travelers.
We did have a little seasonal ski & snowboard shop not reopen last season, the old fella may just not have lived thru the summer for all I know. I always hit him up for deep discounts every year before my april trips to Vail, goggles and such, but never any hard gear.
I know when I was out closing Vail this past season that the restaurants were offering 50% off entrees and 25% off wine, so we ate out alot.
I know I am buying skis online almost exclusively these days, at least the last three pairs. L9 makes it easy as well with free mounting. I guess boots will be next, unless Peter Glenn wants to cut some deals. I guess you can always do boots if you don't like the price at a local dealer, but like the fit. Really not my style though.
I did use to buy end of season demos in Vaill for my wife. She would ski various boards at say Amerciacn Ski Company and decide what she liked or didn't like. If they were in real fine condition BLAM!!!
The ski shop business model is going thru some major 'growing' pains right now, I would think you would almost have to either be mountain based, or internet based, or retail and internet based.