Trails lead running store to added location
Steamboat Springs — Josh Boles said he’s learned a lot of things in the 18 months he’s helped run Twisted Trails Running Company, lessons about marketing to a national audience and stocking appropriate supplies, about selling running shoes in a 400-inch winter and, most recently, about running with the momentum when you have it.
Boles, who owns Twisted Trails with his wife, Susan, and business partner, Eric Edgerton, said the shop, started in Steamboat Springs in December, 2014, is expanding. A new store will open in the Outlets at Silverthorne on Monday.
The move was motivated by several factors, Boles explained. First, he said, the store in Steamboat got off to a strong start.
Learning some of those lessons has helped. Stocking women’s apparel, for instance, isn’t always as easy as it may seem.
“You have to really stay on top of the trends. If you’re not, you can’t sell anything,” he said.
The owners have also learned to stock their store to suit Steamboat’s customers.
“On the business side, it’s about stock control,” he said. “Our store is very trail heavy. Nationally, trail shoes don’t do that well.We do most of our business in trail-specific shoes.
“People were really quick to adapt to our store. Everyone came in and was really excited to have a local running store.”
Second, owners hope expanding into the Interstate 70 corridor will help compensate for another lesson they’ve learned: In Steamboat, shoulder seasons can be back-breakingly slow.
So, that helped motivate them to seek out a way to continue selling shoes, apparel and accessories 12 months per year. The result, Boles said, is the new Silverthorne store.
Avery Collins, an ultra-marathon runner who’s been based in Steamboat Springs, will manage the store when it opens.
“We felt expanding a little closer to I-70 would take the hit out of the shoulder season a little bit,” Boles said. “You get closer to I-70, and the mud seasons aren’t as big.”
The store will slot in next to some big-time competition. Pearl Izumi will be next door, and the Nike outlet will be just across the complex.
The goal, Boles said, won’t be to beat those retailers at the game of selling discount fitness equipment and apparel, but to develop a vibe similar to the one the store has built in Steamboat, with a well-attended, weekly running group and dedicated customers who will even buy running shoes in a 400-inch winter.
“We want to have that small business feel, that local running store feel,” he said. “We don’t even feel lured to compete with the bigger brands.”
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