Gene Taylor’s Sports
Editor’s note: Business as Usual is a series highlighting local businesses in Snowmass Village.
Snowmass Sun: How did your business start?
Duke Taylor: Gene Taylor’s Sports got started in the fall of 1969 by Gene Taylor himself. In the sporting-goods business for about 10 years in Grand Junction, he had an opportunity to put a ski shop in Snowmass Village. The village and ski area was only 2 years old, and that is where it began. Gene became one of the pioneers in the ski industry. Around 2001 or so, we got into bicycles for the summer months to offset the winter season.
Snowmass Sun: What services or goods do you sell?
Duke Taylor: Well, of couse ski and snowboard sales, rental and service in the winter, along with everything that goes along with it: helmets, accessories, skiwear, you name it. Then in the summer months, we turn the shop over to bike and outdoor gear. We rent and sell bikes along with the stuff that goes along with it: tires, bike wear, parts, tubes, you name it. And in the summer months, we have hiking and fishing stuff from hiking boots to fishing licenses. A lot of biking and hiking and fishing go on around here.
Snowmass Sun: What makes your business unique?
Duke Taylor: I think what makes us stand out is the service we try to provide, hopefully. We try to take care of the customer. Our repair shops in both the ski season and the biking season is the nucleus of the store. We have great mechanics with years of experience, guys like P.J. Smith, Rob Pasanen, Tom Mullins and Julie Shopper Mele. They look out for our customers. So it’s mostly our people here at Gene Taylor’s, for sure.
Snowmass Sun: Who’s your primary clientele?
Duke Taylor: Our customer base is like a rainbow, local people from up and down the valley and people from all corners of the U.S. and the world. (The other day) we had a group of bike rentals from Oklahoma, Miami and Madrid, Spain. You never know. Makes for very interesting conversations, and it seems there never is a dull moment. Quite a colorful clientele.
Snowmass Sun: What is the best thing about running a business in Snowmass?
Duke Taylor: There can be a lot of energy flowing around Snowmass. The Thusday night free concert series in the summer is huge. Summer conferences and the continued strong effort of the Snowmass marketing committee has driven the summer business way up. The mountain biking has become world-class, and the hiking, rivers and scenery speaks for itself. It’s a great place to come and enjoy the winter snow and beautiful summers. We feel lucky to have our business here.
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