Vail Valley Bizwatch: Alpine Quest meets telemark, backcountry needs
Business name: Alpine Quest Sports.
Location: 616 West Lionshead Circle, No. 200, Vail.
Date opened: June 2013.
Owner: Sean and Cory Glackin.
Contact info: Call 970-476-7999 or email email@example.com.
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What goods or services do you provide? We are a full-service alpine touring, telemark, climbing and backcountry shop in the winter. You can expect to find a great selection of skis, boots and bindings for alpine touring, telemark skiing and ski mountaineering. We also sell backcountry safety gear including beacons, probes, shovels, airbag packs and accessories, and stock lots of great technical outerwear, too, from Black Diamond, Flylow, Mammut, Patagonia and La Sportiva.
In the summer we concentrate on rock climbing, hiking, camping and disc golf.
What’s new or exciting at your place? We are excited to bring telemark, alpine touring and backcountry shop to Vail. We have been selling, renting and servicing alpine touring and tele gear in Edwards for quite some time. We felt that the timing was right to expand our operations into Vail with an additional location. The feedback has been overwhelming so far. The locals seem to be behind what we are doing, and we are excited to get the winter started.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Our store in Edwards caters to the local population as they are the majority of our business. We want to continue that philosophy and provide our residents a great backcountry gear shop in Vail, too. In doing that, we hope the tourists will follow the locals in the door. Telemark and alpine touring are a niche part of the overall ski industry. As that category has grown, we have expanded our offerings and try to offer products that you can’t find at the other ski an snowboard shops.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? We want to offer quality, technical equipment and clothing. Customers can expect a great selection, knowledgeable staff, fair prices and no BS. We realize that our customers have choices, and we want to give them a reason to come to Alpine Quest Sports and, most importantly, come back and tell others. We want to help our customers get in the correct equipment and be as comfortable as possible when they are out using it.
Our staff is out using the gear that we sell, and we think it shows. We sell a lot of backcountry gear that people use in and out of the ski resorts and give advice, but we want everyone to know that there is no substitute for education, good judgement a experience when it comes to backcountry travel.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience. I have owned Alpine Quest Sports since 2005 and our summer kayak and stand-up paddleboarding school since 2002. I moved to Vail in 1995, a year or so after graduating from Loyola College in Maryland with a finance degree. I worked in restaurants on Vail Mountain and spent many years working as a raft guide, teaching whitewater kayaking and leading backcountry snowmobile tours in the Vail Valley.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? I had a customer come in and ask if we were a sporting goods store. We said, “Sure, we deal with a lot of the local mountain sports.” He then wanted to know the costs for taxidermy service during hunting season and where we kept the ammo.