Stay Tuned’s owners reflect on their Snowmass success, Christy Sports acquisition
Christy Sports announced earlier this month it is acquiring all four Stay Tuned Ski & Sports locations in Snowmass Village.
Longtime Stay Tuned winter sports shop owners Mark and Linda Chapdelaine said the transition has been in the works, and the couple hopes it will help them slow down their lifestyle a bit and spend more time with their kids. But it comes as bittersweet.
“It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made,” Mark said after the Nov. 7 announcement. “But we fully support Christy’s and know they will give the community the type of service we’ve aspired to.”
On a recent afternoon, Mark and Linda reflected on the past 13 years owning and operating multiple Stay Tuned locations in the village.
Mark, a Santa Rosa, California, native and Linda, who’s from Seattle, moved to the Snowmass area separately in the late 1990s to be ski bums, they said. The now-married couple met at a Thursday night concert, and decided to purchase the original Stay Tuned location on Wood Road, which had been there over a decade prior, to operate during the 2006 winter season.
Since then, the Chapdelaines have opened three more winter sports rental and repair locations around Snowmass and worked to create a family-like network of high-quality service.
Both have worked in shops since they were young adults and said it’s the ski and snowboard culture that has kept them there for so long.
“It’s the barber shop of the mountains,” Mark said of ski shops in general. “We were the kind of ski shop that had mid-season parties, end-of-season parties, and would invite our employees on family vacations with us.”
As they reminisced, Mark and Linda acknowledged the hard work that went into running their local winter sports shops but were humble about their success.
The couple said their shop network could not have existed without their strong, longtime “core” of employees, some of whom plan to continue working in the newly branded Christy Sports shops.
Christy Sports, a Lakewood-based winter sports retailer with a Snowmass location on the mall, has a similar family-driven philosophy, the Chapdelaines said. Both shops have helped out each other over the years, and the Chapdelaines said they feel a little more at ease knowing Stay Tuned is transitioning to ownership with similar family-driven values and practices.
According to the Christy Sports’ announcement, the acquisition and rebranding of the Stay Tuned locations is a part of Christy’s growth plan and desire to expand across the region, especially in Snowmass.
“We immediately recognized the great business and culture which Stay Tuned Ski Rentals has cultivated over the years and how closely it vice president with ours,” Dan Fox, Christy Sports VP of operations, said in the news release. “We are excited to welcome them to our family and look forward to growing Christy Sports in Snowmass.”
Moving forward, the Chapdelaines said they do not plan to work in the new Christy Sports locations but are willing to serve as resources for the new stores if needed.
Mark plans to focus more on his landscaping company, MC Landscape & Snowplow; Linda hopes to become more involved in their daughters’ mogul skiing competitions; and both aim to spend more time as a family.
“You know the saying ‘Do what you love and the money will follow?’ I’d like to not say that, but that’s how it turned out,” Mark said. “We feel very lucky to have accomplished what we did and grateful for the opportunities we got.”
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At least 10 shrines have been removed at Snowmass this month, including those to Hunter S. Thompson, Bob Beattie, Spider Sabich, Stein Eriksen, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, the state of Minnesota and the Chicago Blackhawks.