Vail Valley Bizwatch: Get geared up at Haute Route in Avon
Business name: Haute Route Gear & Apparel.
Owner: Dan Brewster.
Contact information: Email email@example.com, call 970-949-1282, follow us on Facebook and find us in Avon next to Pazzo’s.
What goods or services do you provide? Haute Route Gear & Apparel is an outdoor retailer specializing in trail running and light hiking during our non-snow season and AT and ski mountaineering when we can ski.
What’s new or exciting at your place? We have been open since mid-June, so everything is pretty new and fresh. We are pretty excited about most of our products, from the great selection of running and trail shoes to socks, apparel, packs, watches, sunglasses, knives, lightweight trekking poles and even our nutritional products.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? We are unique in our approach in several ways. We are relatively small and can really focus on how our customers intend to use the products and give them true expert advice as all our employees are runners, hikers, skiers and mountaineers. Our focus is going to be on helping people move swiftly safely and stylishly through the mountains. Our motto is “Light is fast and fast is fun!”
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? We want all our customers to feel comfortable and respected, from a first-time hiker to a seasoned ski mountaineer. Our customers should expect expert advice and knowledge given in a way that will increase their enjoyment and understanding of the products we sell. Our customers can also expect a great selection of excellent brands that are tailored to our lighter approach to trail travel. We hope our enthusiasm for the trails and mountains is contagious!
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: I have lived in Eagle County since 1988 except for a brief two-year hiatus my wife Kimberly and I took when we sailed a 30-foot sailboat from the U.S. to South America and back. We have two great kids, Haley, 11, and Gavin, 9. I have mostly been in the wine business but have always been a runner and skier and also part-timed at the old Bag & Pack in Avon for a couple of seasons.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? You have to have a sense of humor and find something that makes you laugh every day. My carpentry work in the store is a good example! Also, one of our first customers was shopping for a running skirt for her sister and asked me to try it on as I was apparently “her size.” She bought the skirt and may have created a new category for us: The male running mini kilt. We have also had a lot of interesting pronunciations of our name. We don’t really care how you say our name, just find us next to Pazzo’s in Avon!
McMakin, 96, loves life as only one can who has come so close to losing it so often, and seen others not as lucky.