Business as Usual: Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods
Editor’s Note: Business As Usual is a series highlighting local businesses in Snowmass Village. It is published weekly in the Snowmass Sun.
If you’re looking for institutional knowledge when renting gear, look no further than Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods on the Snowmass Village Mall. Founded not long after the Snowmass ski area opened, many Gene Taylor’s employees have worked there for a decade or more.
A family business with locations in Gunnison and Grand Junction as well, Gene Taylor’s in Snowmass is now operated by Duke Taylor, Gene’s son. Focused on skis and snowboards in the winter, the shop switches over to bikes in the summer.
Snowmass Sun: How did your business start?
Duke Taylor: Gene Taylor started the business in Snowmass in 1969. Being in the sporting goods business in Grand Junction for 10 years, he got into the ski business and found the location in Snowmass. The ski area had just opened up two years earlier. The shop is still in the same location today with pretty much the same operation as a ski shop doing what we have always done.
Snowmass Sun: What services or goods do you sell?
Duke Taylor: During the summer months we focus on the great bicycling we have in the area. We are a full-service bike repair shop with mechanics on seven days a week. We have a bike rental fleet and sell Kona bicycles. The store is also a sporting goods outlet with hiking and fishing supplies. The trekking and fishing in our area is some of the best.
Snowmass Sun: What makes your business unique?
Duke Taylor: I believe our people here at Gene’s make us special and make the difference. Guests come back year after year and see familiar faces. We always try to give the extra effort fitting a boot or tuning a ski — just good customer service. We are a family-owned business and local. It’s kind of down to earth in this shop. You know you will get a fair price on goods and services. Plus everyone that works here skis or rides and has a passion for the mountain. That reflects, I think, in the way we do business. In the summer we switch over and do bikes the same way.
Snowmass Sun: Who is your primary clientele?
Duke Taylor: We have people coming in from every part of the country as well from all over the world. Although the strength of our clientele, I believe, are our locals. They give us the backbone for the business because without their satisfaction we wouldn’t be doing it right. During the fall our shop spends quite a bit of time mounting skis, getting them tuned, for the folks that make their living in ski boots. As the season opens up, people from all walks of life show up to enjoy the mountain.
Snowmass Sun: What is the best thing about running a business in Snowmass?
Duke Taylor: The transition from winter into the beautiful summer is exciting. Going from skiing to biking, hiking, and fishing. The summer can be the best time of the year.
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The National Standard Racing’s Platinum division finals were a family affair at Snowmass on Saturday. Siblings appeared on the start lists for the head-to-head, bracketed finals and families linked up to form intergenerational cheer squads.