Scarpa North America Blog

Category Archives: Retailer Shout Out

Retailer Shout Out: Ski AK

Feb. 25th 2014


Specialty ski shops exist for a reason: They balance the best and most-respected products with the best possible service, creating an experience the customer will rely on forever. The new archetype for this kind of shop is Ski AK. The 1000-square-foot space is located in the historic Spenard district of Anchorage, and is the go-to for skiers of all creeds—beginners to pros, ski teams to backcountry.

Owner Fred Parke is a retired investment manager who never lost a passion for skiing. Growing up in southern California, he learned how to edge on his home hill of Mammoth. Since moving to Anchorage, he’s been able to create a lifestyle that allows him to stay close to the mountains. And his shop is the proof.

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Retailer Shout Out: Ouray Mountain Sports

Jan. 10th 2014

If there’s one thing that has put the otherwise unsung mountain town of Ouray, Colorado on the map, it’s ice climbing. The Ouray Ice Park was the brainchild of ice climbing pioneer Jeff Lowe, who made the park a reality in 1996. Since then, the Park has been owned and managed by the City of Ouray, the nonprofit Ouray Ice Park, Inc. and a mix of private and public landowners. But, if there’s a backbone to the Park and the now famous Ouray Ice Festival, it’s Ouray Mountain Sports.

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Retailer Shout Out: Ute Mountaineer

Dec. 27th 2013


In the late 70s, Bob Wade, a geology major at the University of Colorado, followed his climbing mentor into the tumultuous world of outdoor retail. Bob Culp owned Boulder Mountaineer, a core climbing shop, and the two went on several trips together. While on a climbing trip to the Roaring Fork in blooming Aspen, Colorado, they saw promise for an outdoor store for the growing community. So, like any auspicious venture, they opened their new outdoor shop in April 1977, which happened to be right after the worst season in resort history — there were bare slopes in January — but they knew if the shop could succeed then, it could succeed anytime. “No one had money after that winter,” remembered Wade.

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