Longtime locals acquire Durrance Sports
August 31, 2007
ASPEN Dave Durrance has sold his sports store on the Cooper Avenue mall to two longtime locals who have worked in the ski business for years. Durrance is maintaining minority interest in the store and will continue to work at the store during peak summer and winter months. He said he is ready for some time off from the hectic nature of owning a small business in town. Alex Rebeiz and Steve Centofanti bought the store from Durrance, and both have worked as boot fitters in the area for at least a decade. The two are both certified popedorthists, meaning they can make medical grade orthotics.
Rebeiz has worked with Durrance for years and hopes the store will continue to bring in locals and tourists alike. To help with making it “more old school,” some changes at the store include a new lounge area at the front with free coffee and a TV. “We want to take care of the locals,” said Centofanti, adding there would be free ski waxing at the store. “This is our home, come in and hang out, tell ski stories, watch football.”Durrance Sports was among the first tenants in the new base village at Highlands, opening for the winter of 2001 in a slope-side space. In 2005, Durrance moved the store to its current space on the mall. Durrance, son of a pair of skiing legends -the late Dick and Miggs Durrance – and a storied U.S. Ski Team coach in his own right, used the family name to help bring people into the store and outfitted a case with decades-old trophies and medals.
“What you see here are what my mom kept for decoration around the house,” Dave Durrance said, continuing on that he had found three steamer trunks of trophies and medals in his attic one day as a kid. “I asked my dad, ‘Don’t you want to put those out?’ He said, ‘Those are yesterday’s stuff.’ “He took them to the dump and rolled them over the edge.”Durrance has the same philosophy of acceptance to change exhibited in the story he told about his father. He said things are very different than when he got here but that the change has happened from year to year. Still, Durrance wanted the store to stay locally owned.
Ruth Kruger, the listing agent for the property, said the sale of the business took some real creativity, though she wouldn’t elaborate. Durrance agreed that it has been hard, at times, to make the business work with the high rents on the mall. The business must make ends meet with monthly rent of $19,000 for 2,300 square feet, a price the new owners said is fair. “I wish the town could put a cap on the rental fees,” Centofanti said. “All the mom-and-pop shops are having a tough time with it.”Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is email@example.com