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Ski Haus Celebrating Expansion

Ski Haus has seen many changes since its first season in 1988. Over the past three years, it has gone from a small ski rental store into a full lines winter retailer. In 2009, when the current owner, Lee Cowan, purchased the store, there were no retail brands and no presence in winter sports. They only had a small fleet of rental skis and snowboards. That first season, Cowan decided to test the market. Five brands were brought in to cover a representation of what a winter sports enthusiast might purchase. Cowan said, “we brought in a snowboard brand, a ski brand, an accessories brand, a clothing line, and helmet line…flash forward three seasons and we now have over 50 brands we deal at the store. It’s exciting, I can’t believe it sometimes when I get to work and see some of the names on our wall. This season, word’s spread and we’ve had lots of brands coming by asking us to open them up in the store instead of the other way around. Brands we thought we could never get, they’re here now asking for wall space and we’re ready to show Flagstaff some gear it’s never seen before. “

“We’ve had a vote of confidence and support from the industry,” Cowan said. “In 2011, we got a call from the largest trade show in winter sports, Snowsports Industries America (SIA), which takes place annually in Denver, Colo. Basically, they called us and said our photographer will be at your shop in the next 48 hours and we need you to come to Denver for an award. We were nominated for Best Softgoods Dealer (clothing and accessories), which we won, and most knowledgeable staff, which we came in second for all of North America. Yeah, that was big, I still laugh thinking about how a small store in Arizona could beat some of the guys on that list and it baffles me. That definitely was a big show of support from others making a living in the wintersports world. It’s a motivator to know that you’re getting national recognition from your peers, that feels great and I can’t wait to us continue the progression.”

This offseason, the Ski Haus staff continued working past the closing days of the ski resort and pulled of a do-it-yourself remodel that covered all aspects of the exterior and interior. What started off as replacing a leaking roof ended up with a complete renovation of the interior and exterior. Cowan said, “You name it, we renovated or replaced it. It was the summer of the sledgehammer! The response has been overwhelmingly positive. With the brands on the wall, the staff all back for their fourth season, and the remodel complete, it doesn’t matter what part of the world they are from, customers are showing some huge smiles to us when they walk in, and that’s what it’s about. It’s an industry based on the most fun sports on Earth, skiing and snowboarding. That’s been our only direction; we like to have as much fun in the store as on the mountain.” FBN

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One Response to Ski Haus Celebrating Expansion

  1. Lee Cowan November 15, 2012 at 10:05 PM #

    Thank you Flagstaff Business News for the great article. If anyone out there needs any additional information on how to get a hold of Ski Haus, please visit http://www.skihausflagstaff.com as we will be adding additional content, specials, pictures, and updates of what’s happening with Flagstaff Arizona Snow Ski and Snowboard Events.

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