Hit The Trail
SHOP TALK – November 2014
By Veronique Mcaree l Photography by Amanda Kowalski
Boots, boards, and great advice at Sunday River Sports
A great ski shop should be like a little adventure unto itself—not to mention a nice respite in between bone-chilling runs. While some of the more renowned outfitters have their benefits,my favorite ski shops are the local spots. Case in point: Sunday River Sports.
Sure, it’s big. 8,000 square feet to be exact, and a part of parent company Boyne, whose dozen resorts include Sugarloaf, Montana’s Big Sky, and New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain. Yet there’s a great local vibe that comes with the shopping experience you’ll find at Sunday River.
Any good ski shop will sell you stuff, be it a new pair of boots or goggles to replace the ones you forgot, but local places like Sunday River Sports have something else: a way of imparting the culture of the Maine ski resort without making it feel like a product. In a word, it’s genuine.
This local spirit and great service is the reason why, says the resort’s vice president of skier services and summer operations, Jeff Rosenberg, “Our Sunday River Sports shop consistently ranks second in guest satisfaction surveys taken at all Boyne Resorts properties.”
The shop’s friendly team of skilled technicians handles everything from repair and tuning of all kinds of equipment to boot fitting, along with doling out great advice. They are all skiers and riders themselves. When they are not selling or servicing, they are on the mountain, which makes them all experts on the equipment and apparel they sell.
When it comes to shopping for ski, snowboard, and telemark equipment, you’ll find loads of the best brand names such as Völkl, K2, Rossignol, Atomic, Salomon, Head, Fischer, Blizzard, and Stockli for every age and type of outdoor enthusiast.
And if it’s layers to combat the Maine chill you need, be on the lookout for a whole lot of hats, jackets, vests, you name it, from brands like Fly Low, Karbon, the North Face, Kjus, Marker, Patagonia, Helly Hansen, Powderhorn, and Isis.
Adding more flavor to the local vibe is Sunday River Resort’s connection to Maine’s own L.L.Bean. “Our two great Maine brands first came together last season when we started to showcase L.L.Bean apparel,” said Rosenberg. “Our customers are very familiar with the iconic Maine brand and have a deep respect for the quality of the product backed by their legendary guarantee. It is a great venue for L.L.Bean to expand their reach outside of their own stores.”
Sunday River receives over half a million skier visits each year, so the location made perfect sense for L.L.Bean to offer skiers and riders their outerwear. What’s more, the L.L.Bean outerwear featured here is designed and tested by world-champion snowboarder (and Maine native) Seth Wescott and has become among the most popular items at Sunday River Sports.
This summer, Sunday River and L.L.Bean teamed up again, offering L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools clinics, classes, and tours in kayaking, hiking, geocaching, stand-up paddleboarding, and archery.
OK, say adding to your ski arsenal is not your thing: Sunday River Sports has other things to check out as well, from maple syrup made on-site (yum!) to glassware and pajamas, to plenty of Eddy the Yeti dolls, books, and puzzles.
The Farmer’s Almanac promises this winter’s chilly weather will keep pace with last year’s. All you have to do is embrace it and prepare with the help of Sunday River Sports, a great local hub for all things winter.