Bent Gate is a Golden institution. Pun intended. The Golden, Colorado outdoor shop first opened its doors in 1994 by the brother and sister duo, Greg and Kristi Floyd. Originally a climbing shop, Bent Gate catered to serious end users who paid close attention to the rapidly evolving gear of the day. Since then Bent Gate has grown into a mature, full service outdoor store with a national following. What makes them different from other shops? “We’re a hardgoods driven store,” says Bent Gate Marketing Manager Jon Frederick.
The building was once a former telecommunications building. Complete with three-foot thick walls, rough-cut timber façade, and long rectangular frame, it’s an intimidating structure. “It resembles a bomb shelter,” says Frederick. Inside, there are plenty of jackets, shirts, and pants, but technical toys take center stage. There’s an overhanging bouldering rock, a monolithic wall of climbing gear, a ski selection that’s second to none, a trail running epicenter and a bastion to backpacking. It would be no problem to outfit someone, no matter what the objective. “You really don’t need to go anywhere else,” maintains Frederick.
In addition to the comprehensive mix of soft and hard goods, Bent Gate has the added bonus of highly trained, smart and active employees. “It’s the way we get the right products to the right people,” says Frederick.
And it seems to work. Bent Gate has a close association to the community. They have regular attendance at monthly movie night, as well as the weekly running night on Thursdays, (6:30 pm, sharp). In September, Bent Gate puts on a mini expo as the season ramps up toward winter. There’s beer, a band, food trucks, a movie, and the proceeds benefit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
In February, they take the show on the road, making the pilgrimage to Silverton, CO for “Silverton Sick Days,” where throngs of ski pros, brand sponsors and everyday customers descend upon the quiet ski town to rat pack around the resort with the latest gear, find out what’s hot, and rub shoulders with some of skiing’s top talent.
They’re brick and mortar business is bolstered by a growing online presence that seems to be gaining ground each year. While the industry might be changing, Frederick believes Bent Gate’s success comes from being earnest no matter how you sell the outdoors, whether it’s face-to-face, or shipping a hard-to-find tool to someone halfway across the States. “We want to build a strong community by creating the right relationships.”