By Marcus Hill, Schriever Sentinel
‘Tis the season to start crossing items off those holiday gift wishlists. It’s not just a time to get cozy around the fireplace or bundle up and watch television all week. This is Colorado, and people love the outdoors yearround — and local retailers understand that.
No matter your jam, local shops have their customers covered with a myriad items to keep family, friends and loved ones happy as this season for giving approaches.
Running shoes? In the winter? It probably sounds like a unusual purchase, but the folks at Runners Roost are equipped to fulfill the needs of more than just runners.
And they do so in style.
The store has an assortment of socks and gloves to pair with fashionable hiking boots for those frigid months.
“We have hiking boots that we’ve never had before and they are waterproof,” Orlando Dimas, sales associate at Runners Roost Dimas, said. “They do not look like your typical hiking boots that you’d normally get from your mountain-type stores. These are more fashionable and can still be used for active wear. If you needed jog for any reason, that boot is going to take care of that.
“We have a boot made by On Cloud and they’re reflective, which is going to be great during the season as people are walking out there in the cold,” he said. “These also keep your feet dry.”
Dimas said the Roost understands that runners aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the outdoors during the winter, which is why they have a catalog that suits a variety of customers.
Don’t forget reflective socks and gloves, which will help keep you safe during the season’s early dusks. Runners Roost is also there to accommodate anyone needing to replace items.
“A lot of travelers and a lot of people coming in for the holidays forget things,” Dimas said. “We’re here to provide any service that we possibly can to help them make sure they’re safe during the winter months. We also want to help them stay warm, have the gear they need if anything was forgotten on their trip because a lot of people are in a hurry to pack and they forget things like socks or gloves.”
The Ski Shop
Many in the region are thrilled to see skis and snowboards hit the stores just as powder begins to coat mountains across the state.
For more than 60 years, The Ski Shop has provided locals with an assortment of winter gear that keeps customers returning.
Debbie Uhl, part owner of The Ski Shop, said she loves seeing the “excitement of our customers” when they find their ideal set up.
“It never gets old, we are excited for them,” Uhl said. “Our passion lies in helping them get the best days ever on snow. It’s their excitement that keeps us doing this year after year. I believe our customers, new and old, come to us because of our customer service focus. Word-of-mouth drives our business, and people know they will not only receive the best service, but also benefit from cutting-edge technology.
“Our innovative tech in our repair shop, along with years of experience, allows us to do what no one else in town can.”
Uhl said they’ll have numerous skis and snowboards available for the holidays, including Rossignol E88 TI, K2 Mindbender Alliance, Rossignol One LF, Ladies Ride Compact, Rossignol E84 AI W and Volkl Kendo.
“[The Volkl Kendo] is a highly maneuverable ski with quick turn initiation, better edge hold and better rebound,” she said. “You will be stable no matter how fast you push the ski.”
Anyone hitting the slopes surely needs to protect themselves from the cold conditions.
Whether it’s keeping your gear in a cool backpack or making sure your wedding band (or your fingers in general) stays attached while you’re exploring, Mountain Chalet has a variety of items from which to select.
Elaine Smith, co-owner of Mountain Chalet, noted Julbo Goggles as one of the many selections available to customers over the holidays.
“The coolest of goggles, especially if you have trouble with fogging,” Smith said. “[They] allow you to keep the wind away from your face and reduce fogging.”
Mountain Chalet is also offering Cotopaxi backpacks, each with its own “unique” design.
“It’s made from leftover backpack material,” Smith said. “Each [person who manufactures a pack] gets to piece together the remnant colors to create their own vision of a beautiful pack for you and no one will have another like it.”
Mountain Equipment Recyclers
The consignment store has a smorgasbord of outdoor wear and gear to suit the needs of customers.
Whether it’s headwear, ski equipment, jackets, or ski pants, Mountain Equipment Recyclers contains numerous products from several brands including Gregory, Sierra Design, Optic Nerve and Deuter.
Ryan Gentges, general manager of Mountain Equipment Recyclers, said they don’t expect to have just one marquee item because of the store’s style.
“We don’t buy a lot of fandangled inventory that you may find elsewhere,” Gentges said “You can expect to find a bunch of items: skis, ski clothes, ski poles. A lot of our consignment is going to be confined to ski equipment, since it’s that time of the season. We have a large inventory of ski jackets and ski pants. It’s a good time to buy ski clothing at a discount.”
The store’s inventory comes from those who have finished using the gear and choose to donate their wear. It is then sold in stores.
Gentges said it’s a vital aspect of their business model.
“It’s the whole reason we exist,” Gentges said. “We like to provide high-quality gear at a discount price. But it’s nice to give those pieces of equipment that extra life and provide access to the outdoors to those who may not be able to afford it. That way, everybody can get out and enjoy the sport.”
Why let a little snow get in the way of fishing?
Jon Easdon, director of services, said the shop has KUHL Women’s Weekendr tights, which are a popular item in the shop, as well as KUHL Men’s RYDR pants, which come in 12 colors.
“[These] are a favorite with the men in the shop,” Easdon said. “These pants are rugged enough for your burliest adventures, yet stylishly clean enough to go to dinner with mom.”
One of the prominent items they’ll have, however, is the Orvis Clearwater Fly rod.
Easdon said “value meets performance” with this fishing rod and it is one of the store’s most popular pieces.
“From the first-time fly fisher to the seasoned vet, this rod can be fished by anyone,” Easdon said. “… [It is a] complete overhaul from the ground up by our Vermont rod designers. Everything has changed except the value.. It’s still the best fly rod you can buy, but with a significant upgrade in performance and looks in a comprehensive series that covers every angler.”