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Next Generation Leading Mountain Sports Flagstaff

Growing up skiing, backpacking and mountain biking on the San Francisco Peaks, Lisa Lamberson has always wanted to own a ski shop. Beginning March 1, her dream becomes a reality as she heads up Mountain Sports Flagstaff and carries on the family tradition of promoting active, outdoor lifestyles. Her father and company founder Mark Lamberson will remain involved as consultant and bookkeeper.

 “I am thrilled to be able to continue our family’s dedication to outdoor pursuits and to the Flagstaff community,” said Lisa. “It gives me a great deal of pride to be involved in the activities that Mountain Sports Flagstaff represents and outfit the community with quality clothes and gear to enhance their outdoor experiences.”

 At an early age, Lisa foretold her future in cursive for a Sechrist Elementary School classroom assignment. On lined school paper she wrote, “I would like to be a ski shop owner when I grow up. Because my dad is one and it looks like fun. I like skiing too, so that would be even more fun.” Early on, Lisa helped out in the store, enjoying running the cash register. For the past 10 years, she has been working alongside Mark.

Lisa Lamberson and her dad, Mark, are teaching Lisa’s son, Jack, how to ski at Arizona Snowbowl – a tradition for the Mountain Sports Flagstaff family. Courtesy photo Cameron Clark Photography

Lisa Lamberson and her dad, Mark, are teaching Lisa’s son, Jack, how to ski at Arizona Snowbowl – a tradition for the Mountain Sports Flagstaff family.
Courtesy photo Cameron Clark Photography

 “I am grateful to have the opportunity to buy the business,” she said. “I feel fortunate to work with my Dad and have access to his ideas and longtime experience in retail.”

 Out of a love for adventure, Mark Lamberson started Mountain Sports with his brother, Bruce, in Casper, Wyoming. He expanded the company to Flagstaff in 1980 following a Northern Arizona University marketing study that identified a need for such a business.

 “There was no such thing as outdoor sports stores then,” said Mark, who has been a lifelong skier and avid outdoor enthusiast, coaching skiers and serving in the Olympics as a race official and chief of course for snowboard and ski events. “It was amazing to be a participant in mountain biking and snowboarding as these sports were developing and to be out in front anticipating the needs of these fast-growing recreational activities.”

 For more than 20 years, Mountain Sports was located on South Milton Road in the Greentree Village Shopping Center. Fourteen years ago, the Patagonia-focused shop opened in its current downtown location on the corner of San Francisco Street and Aspen Avenue.

 “The Lamberson’s have always embraced our brand and what we stand for, and they are a great example of how local business can continue to thrive,” said John Collins, Patagonia vice president of global sales. “They are invested in their customers, their community and in keeping their business looking forward. Most importantly they are just a great family and I know Lisa will do a fantastic job heading up the business.”

 Enjoying nature was a family way of life as Mark and Rosemary Lamberson raised Lisa and her brother, Bret. They grew up enjoying outdoor adventures throughout the West. “After we finished high school I lived all over the country and was encouraged to explore whatever I chose,” said Lisa, whose background includes working as a river running cook, mountain bike guide, ski instructor, sternman for a lobster fishman and Montessori teacher. “There was never any pressure for either my brother or me to take over the family business.”

 “This isn’t retirement for me; it’s a transition,” said Mark. “There are a lot more exciting ideas still coming in the Mountain Sports Flagstaff concept. After 40 years of running the business, things have changed dramatically. I like change, so it’s good to get a shot in the arm with another generation. Lisa can take these ideas and run farther than I have the energy to do. I’m proud the family legacy can be passed on.”

 The Lambersons are proud participants in the 1% for the Planet program that gives 1% of all sales to local environmental and conservation organizations. Lisa says granting a portion of every sale allows them to give meaningful donations to passionate local organizations such as Friends of Camp Colton, Grand Canyon Youth and Flagstaff Biking Organization, to name a few. So far, Mountain Sports has been able to donate some $120,000 to the Flagstaff community.

 Currently, Lisa serves on the board of directors for the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival and is a grant committee member for the Arizona Community Foundation of Flagstaff. She is also a founding business member for Protect the Flows, a non-profit organization that seeks to maintain healthy recreational flows in the Colorado River system.

 For information about Mountain Sports Flagstaff, visit MountainSportsFlagstaff.com.

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One Response to Next Generation Leading Mountain Sports Flagstaff

  1. Mike Vandeman March 1, 2016 at 7:06 PM #

    Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: http://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm . It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else — ON FOOT! Why isn’t that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking….

    A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see http://mjvande.info/scb7.htm ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

    Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them, but scientifically, they are worthless.

    Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it’s NOT!). What’s good about THAT?

    To see exactly what harm mountain biking does to the land, watch this 5-minute video:

    In addition to all of this, it is extremely dangerous: http://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm .

    For more information: http://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm .

    The common thread among those who want more recreation in our parks is total ignorance about and disinterest in the wildlife whose homes these parks are. Yes, if humans are the only beings that matter, it is simply a conflict among humans (but even then, allowing bikes on trails harms the MAJORITY of park users — hikers and equestrians — who can no longer safely and peacefully enjoy their parks).

    The parks aren’t gymnasiums or racetracks or even human playgrounds. They are WILDLIFE HABITAT, which is precisely why they are attractive to humans. Activities such as mountain biking, that destroy habitat, violate the charter of the parks.

    Even kayaking and rafting, which give humans access to the entirety of a water body, prevent the wildlife that live there from making full use of their habitat, and should not be allowed. Of course those who think that only humans matter won’t understand what I am talking about — an indication of the sad state of our culture and educational system.

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