New snowboard shop dials into the sport’s culture
October 6, 2005
Owners of a new Aspen snowboard shop intend to dial into the local boarding culture in a way that they say other retailers have not.Radio Boardshop will open today at the Hyman Avenue space long occupied by The Hub of Aspen. The bike shop will be relegated to a small space in the rear of the store for the winter.Opening today was, at least, the plan Thursday afternoon, as owners Travis McLain and Michael Young and their friends worked feverishly to ready the shop for its debut. It’s quite possible they only finished up in the wee hours of this morning.McLain and Young met a year or so ago; both bring to the venture prior ski/snowboard retail experience and credentials from the snowboard circuit.
McLain, an Aspen native, won the boardercross competition at the Winter X Games in 2001. Young competed as a pro in halfpipe and slopestyle events in the late ’90s.”We know the product, we know the people, we know the industry,” said Young, who started formulating plans for a board shop a couple of years ago.Radio Boardshop will cater to the boarding crowd with equipment, apparel and streetwear. It will also be a place for kids to hang out.”There’s a need for a shop like we’re doing a shop,” Young said.The Hub owner Charlie Tarver, who runs a bike shop in the summer months and has sold ski/snowboard equipment in the winter, will reclaim the full space next April.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for 10 years,” Tarver said. “I’ve been looking for the right person. I think they’ll do a great job – not just sell snowboards, but be a great shop.”Meanwhile, he has six months off and has purposely made no plans to fill them.”Maybe it’s time to see if there’s something else that I want to do,” Tarver said. “It’s truly a blank slate.”Tarver credits Ute Mountaineer owner Bob Wade with giving him a start – offering Tarver a management job and ownership interest in The Hub some 18 years ago. Now, Tarver said, he relishes the opportunity to help a couple of young guys take a stab at their own dream.
The shared-space arrangement has been formalized in a four-year deal, McLain said.”We thought about it quite a bit – there’s always some anxiety, but I think we’ll do really well,” McLain added. “Everybody I know has been really helpful.”Friends have stepped up to help out with everything from the construction work and installation of electronics to making sandwiches.”The people who’ve come out to show their support – said, ‘We’re here to help’ – it has been awesome,” Young agreed.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org