Vail Resorts to buy The North Face and Columbia stores in Breckenridge | VailDaily.com

Vail Resorts to buy The North Face and Columbia stores in Breckenridge

Eli Pace | Summit Daily News

Vail Resorts announced Monday it has agreed to buy three more stores in Breckenridge, adding The North Face, Columbia and Main Street Outlet to the ski giant’s existing lineup of Main Street retail.

In the deal, the trio will join Vail Resorts Retail storefronts Marmot and Patagonia on Main Street. The company is purchasing them from long-time Breckenridge Ski Enterprise owners Steve and Susan Lapinsohn, according to a news release announcing the agreement. The release says resort officials anticipate closing the deal in the coming weeks and assuming operations at the same locations later this month.

“Steve and Susan Lapinsohn are highly respected members of the Breckenridge community and have been providing guests and locals with top-line outdoor clothing and equipment and exceptional service for more than 25 years,” said Greg Sullivan, chief operating officer for Vail Resorts Retail, in a prepared statement.

“We are looking forward to continuing their legacy of providing both the service and retail experience that our Breckenridge guests value and appreciate,” he added.

Vail Resorts Retail currently operates 12 North Face stores in Colorado, Utah and California alone, as well as one Whistler Blackcomb, Canada. The company has numerous other storefronts, including more than a dozen on-mountain and off-site locations in just Summit County.

“It has been an amazing and gratifying experience to be part of the Breckenridge community for many years, working with such an enthusiastic staff, and growing these shops into exactly the kind of retail experience we would like to have when we’re shopping,” Steve Lapinsohn said in the news release.

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“It will be bittersweet as we will miss our phenomenal staff and some of the day-to-day operations, from ordering new inventory to helping customers find just the right product. We are also excited to have our stores continue to evolve with a company and current retail leadership team that shares our vision and goals,” Susan Lapinsohn added.

Over the phone, Sullivan said the company hopes to retain the Lapinsohns’ existing workforce, which fluctuates seasonally but generally entails about 15 to 16 positions at the three locations.

The workers will have to go through a hiring process, Sullivan explained, but it will more about “getting them mapped over” and “seeing if they’re interested in continuing their employment with Vail” than it will be about anyone having to reapply for his or her job.

“Our intention is that all of them would come over and work for Vail,” he said.

Also, according to Sullivan, any workers who make the transition will retain seniority from their original hiring date, and they will be entitled to all the perks of working for Vail Resorts, such as a season ski pass.

In the release, Sullivan added that Vail Resorts will be proud to carry the Lapinsohn’s legacy forward.

“The setting on a historic Main Street, in an iconic ski town and with established partners like The North Face and Columbia make it a perfect match,” he noted.