Retailer with local ski shop recognized at national show

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DOVER >> A retailer with a local shop was recognized in a big way this winter.

Colorado Ski Shop nabbed the 2015 Retailer of the Year Award during the annual SnowSports Industries America trade show in Denver, Colo., on Jan. 29.

"This time of year is when all the ski shops do their buys for next ski season. All retailers go," said Angel Balch, an employee at the West Dover shop. "It's kind of a big deal because there are a lot of shops in this country. So for New England, that's great."

"It's always nice to be recognized for something like that, especially by peers who really know their stuff," said Adam Jaber, an employee whose parents, Diane and Hussein Jaber, own the business.

The West Dover store replaced The Great Outdoors and CB Sports before that.

"The new owners purchased it two years ago," said Balch, former soft-goods manager at The Great Outdoors.

With stores in Springfield, Mass., and Enfield, Conn., Colorado Ski Shop has been around for about 22 years.

Sales were good in West Dover last year with thanks given to the large amount of snow the region got. But, Balch said, online sales are "really what's going to propel them."

"Somebody's having a good year somewhere," Jaber added.

Even with this year's lack of white stuff, Balch said the shop has sold a lot of skis and boots. Everything is starting to go on sale now.

"There's definitely some great deals on ski packages," she said.

The business is still growing, said Jaber, but it offers a "really wide range" of selection.

"We're super lucky for sure. Hopefully going forward it will only get better," he said. "For the most part, we do ski, board, clothing, bicycle. We do a full range of products in terms of ski stuff for sure. Mostly freestyle, all mountain, some all-terrain stuff, cross country, some demo stuff, and seasonal and daily rentals. Pretty much everything in winter sports."

Since the West Dover building has long served skiers and snowboarders under different names, the location has a built-in customer base.

"We have the same customers coming up from New York and Connecticut," said Balch. "Once The Great Outdoors owner started to let it go, we did lose some of our customer base. But now we're gaining it all back again."

She noted the arrival of a big bus group recently, saying they come to the shop every year without fail.

When The Great Outdoors closed, people had wondered what was happening with the building and whether a ski shop would return. Then a new sign went up announcing Colorado Ski Shop would take its place.

"Now, the shop is thriving," said Balch, who has worked at shops the building has housed for close to 20 years, with the exception of two years in which she left. "We got the same staff. I've been there through all the different transitions. The two tech guys and snowboard guy have been there almost as long as I have."

The shop is gearing up for a busy few days as President's Weekend is known to bring in the crowds.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Thursday. On weekends, the shop opens at 7:30 a.m. and stays open until 10 p.m. on Friday and 8 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, the shop is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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