A Great Season is Upon Us!

The Oak trees shedded their acorns early. The squirrels stored acorns liked mad. South America had record snow. Now Tahoe has gotten their second snow of the year and it’s only October 5th. It’s feeling epic! Events coming up are the Cal Ski and Snowboard club sale the night of Oct. 17 and a big advertised sale for the last 3 weekends in October. I just spent 5 days at a BBQ cookoff event in Texas and am ready to turn all my efforts towards skiing as much as possible. If things go well, we will be skiing on my birthday (Haloween). Almost there! Tonight I am typing with my ski boots on…

New Skis

I have finaly made my decision of what skis to buy. I have a pair of Head IGS skis and a pair of Fisher Atua (96mm). As you can see i have only one pair of skis left before i can say i have a full quiver. My choices were the Stockli stormrider XXL, the Fisher Watea 84, and the Head M78. The Stormrider was just too expensive for me even though it probubly skis the best out of all of them. The Fisher is just a little too light and i already have a great pair of skis that are light and “hikeable”. So my decision is …..the Head M78. It is stable at the top speeds (last year i clocked 69.4 mph on their predecesor M82) but still smooth and soft enough to ski slow with my son (love that intelligence). It has a waist of 78mm so it is truly a 50/50 ski so i know that in any condition i will love this ski.
Now, what bindings should i choose. I have narrowed my choices to the Marker Jester (love that wider foot print), Tyrolia HD14 (love the railflex) or the Salamon 914 (Love the driver toe and the light weight). Help!!! I’m never gonna sleep.

Extending the Sale

Well, I realized that when I sent out our direct mailer for the “tent sale” that I used an older mail list by mistake. That means over 2000 customers didn’t get the sale notice. In some ways it is good in that it explains why people seemed to be unaware that we were back from our summer break and open on weekends now. What to do about it? I have decided to send a second version out with new dates for those that previously missed out. Unfortunately this means that the conversion of the store for a parking lot sale and then reorganizing and repricing all the merchandise will have to be redone one more time. I leave for Texas on Thursday for a long weekend so much of the work falls on others. Once again I find myself grateful for competant co-workers. Anyway, if you are reading this it means you can get the clearance prices through October! In season pricing will commence in November. Around here ithe vibe is growing strong. Ski season is near. You can feel it in the air. Tahoe got snow last week and it rained here. It feels and smells like fall and I am exited to get out there and do it up on the slopes!

Always trying to be really ready


So the big sale is over and the numbers were OK, but not great. Consequently I was ready to unwind and take a few days off this week. Steve was also painting the outside of our building, so access is a bit limited and I’m in the way. Therefore I took off Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is a work day but I am in Sacto for a meeting all day. Thursday night on the way home I stopped by Todd’s place to enjoy some tasty BBQ with his family, some friends, and Todd’s parents. All real nice. I like Todds parents. They are like he and Ashley. Good examples of Mid American values. Todd’s Dad and I teased him about Michigan’s football season. Ah, the simple pleasures. Anyway, on the way home I decide to drop by the shop for a “walk through” to survey the needs before the weekend. Crap, I think as I walk through the store- I’m in for a few rough days. About 100 Dalbello boots (actually 96 pairs I think) had arrived. There were some other stragglers to be received. That will wait till Saturday. Giro may show with 80-100 helmets tomorrow as well. The invoice has shown up, so product usually follows pretty quickly. I have 9 clothing racks to strip of their (largely unsold) items that were outside for the sale. This means finding a home on the wall for 36 new clothing waterfalls (9 racks x four sides each). As I am surmising this scenario playing out on the walls, I realize that most of the new clothing upstairs needs size rings put on them. They have been received but “hidden” during the closeout sale. Now they will take their proud places under the bright lights. But first they need size rings. OK, got that written down, now what else to ad to the list. Away into storage must go the tent, tables, 4-way racks, baskets and other items we use for a tent sale. Since we are so heavy with new merchandise, they will have to wait to go upstairs back in the dungeon. I would have to move too much stuff, and I would get extremely dirty and dusty, so this will have to wait. For now items will have to be creatively stashed. Spatially challenged we certainly are. Particularly at this time of year. I scope out the boot back stock boot area and wonder where in the h___ the Dalbello’s are going to fit on the already overloaded shelves. That won’t happen until at least Saturday afternoon, so quick mental notes and move on. Special orders and all paperwork were cleared out on Monday so that is good. So a long day tomorrow. Pull down all sale signage. Put all clothing onto the walls. Stash all the sale paraphernalia. Clean up in general and put all receiving in the back for Martin and John to deal with on Saturday between customers. Off to home and bed.

And ya know, that’s kinda how it worked. We got it basically done although the store is not “dialed”. Sold some skis to a nice guy. Picked up the next to last pair of Monster iM72’s. One more pair left and one more iM75 and then it is officially the end of an era. Blake Y stopped to drop off his boots and wants a ski. I’m going to check the closeouts and see if I can come up with a good hardpack specialty stick that will have incredible edge hold for him. He will pay what it takes, but there may be a smokin’ deal on a Fischer SC, a Head Supershape, or an Elan Ripstick. I think any of these would work. John ordered a Stockli Stormrider DP in 174 today. I asked about him giving up on his beloved Head Mojo 90’s (he sold his last spring) and it turns out he already had put that order in too. Wow. In about three years Johns quiver has gotten really modern. He started out so “old school”. Now he will have both a 90mm and a 95mm waisted ski in his quiver. Good for him. It will be really interesting to see which he skis more this year (ie- which is the “winner” as they are pretty much for the same snow conditions). Oh, and Becky called. She had both her new Campy Chorus equipped custom Trek road bike and her Gary Fisher Sugar mountain bike stolen off her roof rack. That sucks! She is doing a mullti day ride down the pacific coast next week with some friends and will have to take the old Bianchi.

So overall a bit more burden on me today with no Todd, no Martin, and John on crutches. No Todd as with his parents here he was given the week off. No Martin because I don’t want him to have to do much heavy manual labor. John is not allowed to help lift as he still cannot put weight on his knee, but heh, I’m up to it! Tomorrow may or may not be busy but John and Martin are working and on Sunday we add Rebecca as well. We will get through this weekend and by next Saturday the store will look like a designer showroom!

Oh yeah- the paint job on the building turned out bright orange! Not quite what I ordered and the landlord will re-do it if I insist- but I don’t know. People will definitely see us! Plus the Piano store guy next door hates it and that may be a reason all by itself! I will have to see what the staff and customers think. If they notice and comment (good or bad) I think it stays. If they don’t notice, I may ask for a change. Ugly that serves no purpose is not what I want…

The staff at Mammoth- Spring ’06

Here’s the folks from my world…

May 2006- Neil the squirrel, Brian Tai, J-Mat, Martin, Timetrial Todd Thomas, Me, Heather and Christian, and Johnny O. in a staff photo. This was from our annual spring staff trip to Mammoth Mountain. As seems to be the case more often than not during these “end of season” trips, we got dumped on. This was about May 5th. A year two before we had gotten four great days of spring conditions and were scheduled to come home Sunday night. I left on Sunday around 2:00pm as a big storm was coming in and I had a comittment at home the next day and had to get over the pass before it hit. Asking if anyone else wanted to come along to beat the storm they all looked at me with puzzled expressions. I seemed to be the only one with any concerns about road conditions. Finally Matt (Mr. Happy) stepped up and said “sorry dude, but you’re on your own”. When I didn’t respond he continued “you don’t get it, dude, the shop is closed for the summer. You just layed us all off. We have no jobs, we have nowhere to be, a storm is about to hit, and we are in a hotel room on your credit card. We’re staying!” I told them they could stay till Tuesday. It snowed about 3 feet. I drove home alone. Good times!

Wow, so here I am. I am a blogger. I went to a workshop put on by SIA (Snowsports Industries of America) today and came away spinning. There were four sections and the final one concerned the web. I (and pretty much everyone else) expected a bunch of statistics about the percentage of ski sales being done over the internet and how it is eroding the dealerbase blah, blah, blah…

Instead, we had a guy named Ben Snyder from a business called Sage Island and the title of his presentation was “Web 2.0”. Blew my mind! Now I am finally getting what friends of mine like Dave (http://www.vanderkitten.com/) and Jim (http://www.cyclofiend.com/) are all about regarding their use of the internet as a personal and business portal to the world!

So it’s 5:02am and I have been up most of the night going to various web sites and seeing incredible things. I find that I have let social technology pass me by. I see it all around me now that I know how to recognise it. Hmmm, social technology (that’s my phrase and I think I like it!) is here to stay and I am diving right in- right now.

I don’t know where this will all go but I have some great ideas to get the shop exposure out there and that is the primary goal. So off we go into the future!