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 your ski and snowboard gear, look no further than Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods on the Snowmass Village Mall. Founded not long after the resort 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. The longtime employees and patrons of the shop now feel like family to him, too, he told the Snowmass Sun in 2012.
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: We are a full-service ski and snowboard shop complete with retail of skis, boards, boots, skiwear and all the stuff that goes along with it. We always have tried to have everything that is needed for our guests and the locals as well, from helmets to long underwear and at a reasonable price. We have a repair shop that is busy all the time either mounting or tuning skis. I think during the season our grinder and waxer are running most of the day.
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: I think it’s the people. From all over the world coming to Snowmass. They’re excited to be here and always sad to leave, can’t wait till next year or another dump of snow or to come out in the summertime and enjoy the great weather and the mountains. It’s relaxing but always a lot of energy for the business. I’m just glad to be here.
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