Castle Rock Bike & Ski is a locally owned and operated business in the historical downtown district of Castle Rock, CO. When the husband and wife owners aren’t busy helping customers into new skis or bikes at the shop you can find them working with the town to develop and build single track trails, coaching the local high school mountain bike team, working with the downtown development authority and of course, shredding around on skis or bikes.
How did you get involved in this business? Skiing and biking have been passions for me since I was kid. I have worked in the bike and ski industries since 1986. I was working in a ski shop in Tacoma, Wash. while attending the University of Puget Sound and it wasn’t long before I decided I wanted to work in the ski and bike industry rather than go law school. After moving to Colorado in 1988, I worked at various shops while getting my bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial management. I opened my first bike & ski shop in downtown Denver in 1994. Five years later, I sold my share of the business to my business partners. I moved to Castle Rock, CO., and opened Castle Rock Bike & Ski with my wife, KC, in 2000. The business is a full service bike and ski/ride shop offering sales, service and rentals.
What distinguishes you from other businesses in your category? Castle Rock Bike & Ski is a locally owned and operated business in the historical downtown district of Castle Rock, a thriving community on the Front Range. We are ardent believers of supporting local businesses and we practice what we preach by offering goods from several local and regional suppliers. Liberty Skis are a perfect match for the shop’s feel, vibe and product mix.
Who are some of the typical customers of your shop? Castle Rock Bike & Ski caters to a wide range of customers from families with little kids to active empty-nesters. Because the shop focuses on cycling in the summer and snowsports during the winter months, many of the shop’s customers engage in both sports segments. Castle Rock Bike & Ski is the only full service ski shop within at least a 10-mile radius and our location combined with my long-time experience in the industry makes us a destination for skiers and riders in the area.
What do you like best about your line of work? I love skiing and cycling and owning my own store gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in those sports every day. I enjoy keeping up with the latest trends and trying out the newest equipment. Setting up kids for ski or board rentals for the first time is always fun because I know I am introducing them to a wonderful recreational outlet they can participate in for decades to come. Setting up an experienced skier with the latest gear is always fun because they know what they are capable of on their old skis but are excited about the possibilities on their new sticks. I sell fun and what could be more fun than that?
What is your business’ biggest challenge? Being a small shop gives us the luxury of getting to know our customers well. We are able to provide customized services that meet their particular needs and desires. However, it can be tricky competing with the bigger shops and online retailers in terms of product volume and discounts. We have been in business for 15 years and we still have people come in to the store who have not heard about us before. Because Castle Rock is a commuter community (most residents work in Denver or Colorado Springs), many residents will often shop near their workplaces. That is changing as the town continues to lure more businesses and jobs but it will take time before major changes to that dynamic take place.
What is your favorite place to ski? There really isn’t anywhere I don’t like to ski. But I was a volunteer patrolman at Arapahoe Basin for eight years so my heart really belongs there. My daughter learned to ski there and last year she did the North Wall with me for the first time. But really, it’s not as much about where I am skiing as much as it is just getting out and skiing. I like cycling and I ride my bike a lot. But if I could ski every day of the year, I would.
Something people might be surprised to learn about you or your business: We are very involved in our community. I have worked closely with the Town of Castle Rock to develop and build more than 20 miles of singletrack trails around town and Castle Rock Bike & Ski is the corporate sponsor of the local mountain bike park. I am also the coach for the local high school mountain bike team. KC is a member of the local downtown development authority, which is tasked with attracting new businesses and development to the downtown district.
If your shop had a theme song, what would it be? Galactic’s “What You Need”