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Another boring ski shop opens

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

A fairly new bike shop decided to get into skis during the winter, but not Nordic like some bike shops.  I stopped in there yesterday to see what they had, hoping for something different.  No such luck, just the same kind of stuff that the other three places sell:  Lange, Salomon, Nordica, Dynastar.  Brands at the others includeK2, Line, 4FRNT, Rossi, Dalbello and Tecnica.  Nobody sells Volkl or Atomic here anymore and 4FRNT is the only indie brand available.  There's also another store that sells skis, but strictly backcountry and Nordic gear, plus another bike shop that sells Nordic gear.  It is just boring, boring, boring. 

post #2 of 20

So.. which company are you planning to rep for? 

post #3 of 20

I'd consider Lange and Dynastar a rarity these days.  

post #4 of 20

my experience has been that the further away from skiing you get, the less the shops know skiing.  not always accurate but seems that way though.

i stopped in a shop while passing through an upscale town the other day wanting to see if they had a couple skis that i was interested in this year.  first of all, they had a package price on rossignol avenger 76 skis and blizzard magnum 7.6 for $150 above the ski price.  btw, most of their skis were packaged like that, not just those two.  i asked the guy how many different boots do you have to choose from for that price?  he said, "only one."  i didn't even ask him what POS they were giving away for that price.  forget about properly fitting someone for a boot, right? i asked if he's discount the ski alone.  he said, "no way."  i understood.  now this guy really seemed like a turd, so i asked him what people think about the blizzard 7.6 (knowing that it has been out for a while and was a category winner last year.)?  "he said it was too early to tell."  then i told him i wanted to demo both skis for the day, and i'd pay for it and buy one at the end of the day.  he then told me to go to vermont in february and demo them, if rossi and blizzard were actually there (haha) and order your skis at the end of the season for 2012. 

 

am i off base here? 

what kind of fool buys an advanced ski with an entry level boot?

who here demos in february and orders their skis in spring for the next year?

are some of your shops cutting their demo/dayrent programs?

 

i had to share, because most of our local shops are really good and consistent, but what do i expect from a shop that was just bought out by another shop that only sells ski clothing, not skis.  yes, that's right.

 

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

Lange boots have been available at a now defunct shop here for several years.  I do think Dynastar has not been around.  Skiing is only 50 miles away and there are no ski shops in the town closest to the mountain.  I think unfortunately whoever made this decision about what to carry not only didn't think about it very much but probably doesn't know a whole lot about what's going on in the industry.  Five shops here sell downhill gear:  4 sell K2, 4 sell Rossi, 5 sell Salomon, 4 sell Nordica.  It just seems like you see the same gear in every store.

post #6 of 20

There's no ski shops in Red Lodge?  But, I thought there was at least one AT the mountain...Haven't been there in a few years.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Lange boots have been available at a now defunct shop here for several years.  I do think Dynastar has not been around.  Skiing is only 50 miles away and there are no ski shops in the town closest to the mountain.  I think unfortunately whoever made this decision about what to carry not only didn't think about it very much but probably doesn't know a whole lot about what's going on in the industry.  Five shops here sell downhill gear:  4 sell K2, 4 sell Rossi, 5 sell Salomon, 4 sell Nordica.  It just seems like you see the same gear in every store.

post #7 of 20

It seems that if a shop sells Atomic, they will normally sell Salomon as well.  Or vice versa.

 

Same goes for K2, Volkl and Line.

 

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Sylvan Peak sells nordic and AT but no alpine.  There's one shop that rents alpine gear and the shop at the ski area sells everything but skis, bindings and boots.

 

Atomic hasn't been available here in at least 4 years and there's no longer a Volkl dealer.  It would really be nice to see one of these places differentiate themselves with some brands like Atomic, Kastle, Fischer, Kneissel and some of the indie brands.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Sylvan Peak sells nordic and AT but no alpine.  There's one shop that rents alpine gear and the shop at the ski area sells everything but skis, bindings and boots.

 

Atomic hasn't been available here in at least 4 years and there's no longer a Volkl dealer.  It would really be nice to see one of these places differentiate themselves with some brands like Atomic, Kastle, Fischer, Kneissel and some of the indie brands.



Not if they want to pay the bills. Mainstream brands bring in mainstream customers, they pay the bills. The brands you just mentioned are accent/halo brands. 

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Volkl and Atomic aren't mainstream?  There are a few people I see skiing on Fischer and Kneissel so people are getting them somewhere.

post #11 of 20

I could see Atomic getting the Bills paid.  They are hardly Indie.  It's weird to hear they aren't in a shop in Billings, because pretty much any other town/shop I've been to, that's about all you can get.  Salomon/Atomic/Volkl/K2/Line and only slightly less often, Rossignol.

 

There's a shop in Wenatchee, WA that was selling Head and Hart at least a year ago.  Not sure what the current inventory is.  I haven't seen either of those sold anywhere else.

post #12 of 20

This is all very silly. If there is something that you want to buy but can't find in Billings, it's not that hard to find on the web. For example; your worldwide skishop (Starthaus in Truckee) sells 13 brands and is just a phone call or a mousecrick away.............

 

Seriously though...........what qualifies a ski brand as mainstream is pretty hard to dechipher. Generally, the wider distribution that a brand has, the wider it's market and hence the more mainstream a brand would be thought to be. Invariably, the most widely distributed and widely advertised brands get the most consumer requests (think Chevrolet). Right now, K2 and Volkl are the two most widely distributed brands in the US market and hence they are very mainstream. For a shop to carry other brands like Atomic, Dynastar, Blizzard etc.......entails a lot of work. The shop has to evaluate the product and find a reason to buy the less widely distributed stuff. Atomic for example, has some great gear but is not widely represented in the market. If a shop is willing to invest the energy if figuring all this out, a somewhat exclusive brand can do very well. OTH, if a shop doesn't have the time, energy, or whatever to create a plan to sell skis, they might just opt out for the most asked for brands and models and they will inevitably sell everyone basically the same things. Hence a degree of sameness in the marketplace.

 

SJ

post #13 of 20

head over to the bozone. We got options. 

post #14 of 20

Yeah, that's not a "major drive" when you live in this state, practically local.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bozemanskier View Post

head over to the bozone. We got options. 

post #15 of 20

I went into a bike shop in Chicago on Sunday and walked out with a pair of Bent Chetlers that I didn't even need.  

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

I went into a bike shop in Chicago on Sunday and walked out with a pair of Bent Chetlers that I didn't even need.  



So which is better...Rocker or 29" wheels?

post #17 of 20

 

   mt cyclist, as the old owner of the now defunct ski shop in Billings.  I ll answer a couple of questions.  First of all, I'm glad you found the new shop boring, because as you know I don't work there. The shop I now sell for may seem a little boring but they had no idea my staff would be joining them and based their buying decisions on not having the knowledge we now have.  It is easy to sell k2 and Rossignol ( rossi is a little tough for me, buts thats changing).  People know it by name they just grab and go.  My old shop probably didn't have enough of the mainstream.  I think the conservative nature of my new employer mixed with my excitement for the latest and greatest will be a perfect mix.  Their system of buying skis just based on numbers mixed with my system of buying based on emotion will be a great combo.  I would love to walk into work and see stacks of kastle skis and more Blizzards. I was just happy they decided too jump on Blizzard after they had spent their open to buy.  But Kastle is realistically not going to keep the doors open in Billings,mt.  Icelantic is cool to look at tough to sell.  Moment skis may make the kids drool but the parents save 300 dollars and buy them a k2.  I really hope to add more excitement to the ski shop I work at but look at Billings,Mt.  Perhaps we just mirror the city.  Not really a core outdoor town.  I think I just need to move to Truckee, Ca, beg Jim for a job, and ski squallywood.  That would be exciting!!

 

P.s.  The ski station sells Volkl, I could get you atomic. 

post #18 of 20

This will be my first Rocker ski.  I've embraced 29r HT for the Midwest, but still have a 26" FS in Colorado.  

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptex1 View Post

 

  I think I just need to move to Truckee, Ca, beg Jim for a job, and ski squallywood.  That would be exciting!!

 

 

 

Do It....I'll put in a good word for you with SJ and Philpug....you could get them into carrying river running boats/rafts..no?

 

How do you tune a river raft?   bevel the pontoons?  geez, a lot of techie stuff that you could bring to Starthaus
 

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

A fairly new bike shop decided to get into skis during the winter, but not Nordic like some bike shops.  I stopped in there yesterday to see what they had, hoping for something different.  No such luck, just the same kind of stuff that the other three places sell:  Lange, Salomon, Nordica, Dynastar.  Brands at the others includeK2, Line, 4FRNT, Rossi, Dalbello and Tecnica.  Nobody sells Volkl or Atomic here anymore and 4FRNT is the only indie brand available.  There's also another store that sells skis, but strictly backcountry and Nordic gear, plus another bike shop that sells Nordic gear.  It is just boring, boring, boring. 


Nordica and Dynastar are relatively hard to find. Plus, they make good skis. I would rather have Nordica available than many of the more "mainstream" marketing companies that sell skis on the side.  

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