After a four-year hiatus, I was very excited to reopen Sturtevants doors in Hailey last month (July 4th)! Naturally, many questions have surfaced so, allow me to cover the main topics.
In January of 2013, my business partner Ben Jacobson and I purchased Sturtevants (including the Hailey Store) from Rob Santa. We had significant plans for the business including 2 significant remodels of the Main Street Ketchum storefronts, a complete rebranding initiative, and the implementation of a new point of sale system to name just a few of the projects. With a desire to raise capital to fund these projects, and to be focused on that execution, it was fortuitous that longtime store manager Jeff Davis was eager to take on a challenge of his own. As a result, we agreed to terms on May 1st, 2013, that Jeff would purchase the Hailey store and use the name ‘Sturtos Hailey’.
Unfortunately, Sturtos Hailey closed its doors this spring…
When we learned of this situation, we quickly realized that, with the previously described projects behind us, re-opening in Hailey was now an excellent opportunity for Sturtevants again! To be a success, we believe that the three key elements will be 1.) to put together an extremely strong team to service the knowledgeable Hailey market, 2.) to align the activities and expertise with the rest of our organization, and 3.) to manage our overhead/ expenses.
Well, we couldn’t be happier with how the staff has come together! We were able to hire long time local, Nordic skier, athlete, and super nice guy David Vanderpool as the store manager (see his bio in this newsletter). We were lucky enough to bring back former staff members Jay Nigra and Greg Thomson who bring extensive bike knowledge along with an excellent understanding of the Hailey market. Travis McDaniel will be the Assistant Store Manager and brings a retail background, a contagious enthusiasm for skiing and cycling, along with experience in our Ketchum locations. I also wanted to make sure our technical services were thoroughly covered and we found ace bike mechanic Arne. We are still looking for some help with softgoods and merchandising but, we are confident that we will have a team that maintains our high standards of Customer Service!
We also knew that we needed to align the business model in Hailey with our core strengths in Ketchum. These strengths are cycling, skiing, and what we like to call Mountain Multi-Sport and Mountain Lifestyle. So, during the ‘riding season,’ Sturtevants Hailey will focus on being a full-service (service, retail, rentals) cycling shop complemented by your favorite outdoor accessories, apparel, and footwear. When the riding turns off, we will offer Nordic equipment again, winter accessories, apparel, and footwear and, of course, our winter rental programs including junior lease. You may have noticed that these core strengths no longer incorporate fly fishing. We have found that quality cycling and fly fishing shops require a focus and staff their own and trying to do both is very challenging. Therefore, we sold our fishing businesses to Sun Valley Outfitters and fly fishing will no longer be part of our offering (in any of our locations) after this fall.
Finally, because it is so important to manage overhead, we negotiated a lease that only uses the east side of the long time Carbonate and Main Street location. But, without fly fishing we don’t expect this to limit our ability to offer the cycling, skiing, and outdoor products the Hailey customer has traditionally needed. In that lease negotiation process, we were also able to help fill the west side of the building with the local, up and coming bike apparel brand, Club Ride corporate offices. We look forward to working with them on community rides and projects!
So, with Sturtevants Hailey, we embark on a new chapter and opportunity to serve our amazing customers. Although we were unable to plan the way we would like to, and the store will, therefore, see significant improvements over the next 6-9 months, we ask that you come by, check us out, and say hello. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Ski. Bike. Live!