Wrapping Up for Summer Break?

by Greg Whitehouse

It is 15 days until we take a break in mid-summer. Starting 8/1/22 we will be getting new gear in large quantities. Before that we take July off.

There was a time when we closed from Easter until the last week in August. Those were the good old days. Like a school kid I got every summer off. I liked that.

Now due to consumer demand we are open much longer. We still have appointments for boot fits every day. Before Lunch today (Monday) we have sold 4 pairs of skis. The Back Country crowd are still skiing.

We open earlier too. Customers have appointments starting again on 8/1/22. John in particular is in high demand.

Plus while we are closed I still stay busy. It is not the slow time it used to be. Over time I have become more and more involved with outside projects.

A few weeks ago I met with a brand to talk about 2023/24 products. There are non disclosures related to these meetings but I will say this will be some cool stuff.

last week I went back to Hi Tempo – Hi Tempo SnowSports & WaterSports in White Bear Lake in Minnesota. Hi Tempo is a highly respected shop and The Foot Lab inside is run by Brad Nelson and his daughter Kaitlyn. Brad and Kaitlyn are Certified Pedorthist’s and they are manufacturing their own footbed blanks. Brad has been telling me about his products and practices for some time. We meet up at shows and are on a Board of Directors together.

I went back to share ideas with Brad. We both felt it would be mutually beneficial. I came back with a pack full of insole blanks, a few that were made for my ski boots, and a lot of interesting new ideas. The blanks are to build up for the boot fitters here to build for themselves and evaluate in their ski boots. Where these type of things will lead nobody knows, but we will keep talking.

Meanwhile Brad and I both happen to also be working together on a few other projects. We helped put on the Elevated Boot Academy the last few years for some of the top shops in the country. Now we are working on expanding the Academy to include Ski Tuning and Rental Department training. This is a time suck, but it is for the good of the game.

Brad is also a partner with me and another industry expert working with a sock manufacturer to design a new specialized ski sock. I can’t say more but it will also keep me busy in July. It is also for the good of the sport, and someone has to do the work.

The owners will not even think about taking all of the month of July off. This July, Dara and I will be working on the web site. We will be talking about the business plan on a regular basis. Dara will fly back to work on some store merchandising plans, etc etc etc.

The basic picture is that Dara and my summers are not very “free” any more. I would love to ride my bike 100 days in a row, I just cannot find time to do that any more. This is getting to be a full time job!

I will get some good quality time with Dara. I will get to visit my Dad for our annual week of wrenching on cars. I will also have to work a fair bit and then BOOM! it is over and the new gear will be showing up.

I can’t wait!

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