Renovated Christy Sports perfect fit with Steamboat Resort base area improvements
A little past 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 9, store manager Tyler Kitchin and his staff began a new day and a new era inside the completely reimagined Christy Sports at the base of the Steamboat Resort.
“We’ve always had world-class service,” Kitchin said. “We’ve always been great to our guests, but finally the facilities are going to be up to on par as our (ski shop) services, our product and our customer services.”
The renovations — or “store elevation,” as Christy Sports likes to call it — began at the end of the 2021-22 season, when Kitchin and his coworkers inventoried the remaining stock, packed it up and moved it out.
“I don’t know when the first hammer was swung,” said Kitchin. “I can’t remember exactly the date on that, but as soon as we closed, we did inventory and we started moving things out.”
Over the summer, construction crews went to work rebuilding the store from the ground up, adding large picture windows that bring in more natural light and incredible mountain views that guests can enjoy from both the main floor and second level.
The renovation of the store coincides with Steamboat Resort’s upgrades in Steamboat Square, formerly known as Gondola Square.
“We call it the remodel, but the only reason why it’s a remodel is because we didn’t knock it to the ground. We went all the way to the studs, and nothing’s the same inside,” said Kitchin, who is impressed with the way the building and floor plan turned out. “We also opened up from the main floor up to the third floor, and with new roofline and the new windows, it’s just so much lighter and brighter.”
The indoor space has been reconfigured with plenty of upgrades that add to the guest experience on each of the store’s three levels. The bottom level is now the rental department and houses daily rental lockers, giving guests easier and quicker access as part of a vastly improved rental experience. A new entrance allows customers to walk right into where they need to be.
The main floor features an expansion that houses a leading selection of mountain apparel and accessories, and the third level has ski and snowboard equipment with a new repair shop that uses the latest technology in tuning and performance. There is a dedicated custom boot-fitting area where guests are treated to incredible views of the mountain while having their boots fitted.
The Steamboat Springs location will be one of the few consumer retail stores in the country to feature the Jupiter from Wintersteiger. This a fully automated servicing system that customizes the tuning of skis and snowboards as part of a cutting-edge system in the store’s new workshop area.
In addition to the new Jupiter tuning machine, the Steamboat Springs Steamboat Square store will also incorporate Easywork, Wintersteiger’s proprietary platform for tracking skis and snowboards and a guest’s tuning preference.
Kitchin, a longtime employee of the company, said the improvements are striking.
“I’ve been here for 19 years, and I think apart from a little bit of new carpet and one or two new fixtures, not much has been done,” Kitchin said. “Now, we’ve got a brand new store.”
The Christy Sports Steamboat Square location has a long history within the company and Steamboat Resort. It was first opened by Ben Hambleton as a SportStalker in 1972, and eventually became a Christy Sports after the two companies merged in the late 1990s. The shop remains one of the largest Christy Sports locations in the country.
The Steamboat Square location is the first Christy Sports Signature Store in a resort base area, and it is open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. seven days a week and will be extending its hours for the holidays.
Christy Sports’ first signature store was built in Boulder and was followed by locations in Park Meadows, Avon and Dillon. Signature stores offer the highest-end guest journey through enhanced departments, elevated interior visual merchandising, and a more open floor plan that creates a modern guest shopping experience.
“With our deep roots in the Steamboat community, we share the excitement of many people who have been waiting for this elevation to further upgrade our world-class service,” said Gary Montes de Oca, Christy Sports Chief Development and Strategy Officer. “We are thrilled for both our new and returning guests to experience the largest store remodel in the history of Christy Sports and the unparalleled experience we’ve created right here at the base of Steamboat Resort’s new gondola.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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