My niece Brooke and nephew Micheal.
One more post about my Thanksgiving trip. The main goal of going back east over the Thanksgiving holiday is to visit with family. I have a niece and nephew that I haven’t spent much time with, so much of my visit is spent wrestling and playing soccer and baseball with my nephew, as well as begging my niece for hugs and kisses. One afternoon we went to the local zoo, the weather was wet and cold, and many of the animals were indoors keeping warm. Honestly, coming from a place like Jackson, with vast amounts of wide open space and national parks protecting the wildlife for many years to come (except for the wolves of course…but we won’t get into that right now) I felt a bit sad for the animals all cooped up in their cages. I tried not to let my niece and nephew in on the thoughts going through my head, letting them come to their own conclusions for the time being.
After a couple days with the family, I really started to jones for some hint of the mountains and skiing, and being a gear-geek, I decided to swing by the local Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) which my sister said just went up a couple months ago. Figuring it might be a good place to recruit some new visitors to the website, I brought along some stickers to help make some new friends.
Having worked in the specialty outdoor business for the past eight years and for Skinny Skis, which was just recently named one of the top 25 specialty outdoor shops in the country by Outdoor Business, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good feel for what to expect from a successful operation. As I entered the Newton Highlands EMS, I was welcomed by a sales person which was nice, but its wide open floor plan really gave me a big-box-store feeling, quite different from our well merchandised floor plan at Skinny which really makes our customers really feel at home. Overall though, I found the staff to be relatively knowledgeable and friendly, which it is really all about.
I quickly made a beeline to the ski wall to see what they were stocking this season and was happy see a good representation of Black Diamond skis, six models in all, but surprisingly not a single AT boot could be found. Also quite interesting was the fact that they had about five choices of telemark bindings and one rando binding offering… Fritschi Freerides. I was more than sad to see that they hadn’t seen benefit of the Dynafit bindings yet and I really wished I had a setup or two to give a quick mini-clinic on them.
After only about a minute I was approached by a sales associate and after introducing myself, he was more than willing to talk shop for a bit and tell me about his product and clientele. I tried not to be to pushy and let him say what he wanted before moseying around to check out the rest of the store and see what else they had in stock. What was amazing was the number of different types of snowshoes they carried, which I guess explained a lot. The Suunto selection as quite good and they even had one of the new CORE models that we are still waiting for at Skinny.
Before I left I made sure I left a stack of stickers, by the BD skis of course, and gave a business card to the guy I talked to by the ski wall, as well as offering to give him the low down if he ever made it out to Jackson. I hope he takes me up on it some day, and maybe even get him on some Dynafit bindings.