Jan 27, 2016
Industry + Intelligence
Denver, CO
Jan. 28-31, 2016
SIA Snow Show & Sourcing Snow
Colorado Convention Center
Denver, CO
Feb. 1-2, 2016
On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest
Copper Mountain Resort, CO

2010 Industry Achievement Award Winner: The Gart Family

Nate Gart and his three brothers started Gart Brothers Sporting Goods in 1928, specializing in war surplus, fishing, and hunting supplies. Nate’s son, Jerry, worked in the store as a boy and went on to open the Gart Bros Sports Castle in 1954 with everything from golf cart transportation to practice ski slopes inside. The Sports Castle became Colorado’s largest and best known sporting goods store and what the Rocky Mountain News labeled Denver’s first “big box” store. He cultivated relationships with supplier reps and principals among the top snow sports brands to get them to sell in his store.

The Garts sold their chain of sporting goods stores in 1986, but continued to be involved with it 1992. In 1994, Ken and Tom Grant launched SSV. That year, they formed the Gart Companies, which consists of a real estate branch, Gart Properties, and Specialty Sports Ventures, which combines large metropolitan Denver stores, such as Colorado Ski & Golf and Bicycle Village, with winter resort locations.

A key to SSV’s success was its venture with Vail Resorts, formed in 1998, which allowed SSV to secure key base locations and feed off other synergies. In April 2010, Vail Resorts acquired the remaining Garts’ interests. Specialty Sports Ventures (SSV) had grown into the largest ski and snowboard retailer and rental operator in the United States. With more than 120 shops, SSV generated over $100 million in annual sales by 2008. From corporate headquarters, in Denver’s Cherry Creek North neighborhood, brothers Ken, Tom and John have offices with sweeping views of the snow-capped Rockies. In those mountains, locals and tourist alike have been photographing, hiking, camping, skiing, hunting, fishing and playing for the past 80 years with equipment from Gart.   

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"The SIA Snow Show is the best time of the year! You get to see all the new technology coming out, you get to see all the sales reps you have relationships with, and then right around the corner you get to test everything out at the On-Snow Demo at Copper." Katy Graul, Ski Brokers, Fraser, CO
"For me, the Show is so much more than just a product presentation, it's a true breeding ground for ideas and inspiration. The forums, the marketing information, and the opportunities for retailers like me to network with each other has become a major feature for me." Teddy Schiavoni, Summit Ski Shop, Framingham, MA
"It's the place to go to see as many manufacturing companies as you can see under one roof at one time. It’s the latest and greatest of everything that’s going to be coming through the stores in the next six to eight months. I think people do a disservice to themselves by not going." Susan Woody, sales rep, Turtle Fur
"This Show is so important because it's the preview for what’s to come; it's the big picture. You can talk to the people that are in sales, product development, we can tell you plans for next year as well as help retailers with their buy so they become informed and make better decisions for their business." Ryan Green, Nordic Division Manager, Rossignol
"From an international perspective, I can see that the whole US snow sports industry is truly a community. Everybody's here and you can see that it's a family." Sigi Rumphuber, Product Designer/Engineer, G3
"This whole business is based on relationships, so if you don’t get that face to face time it's difficult to continue those relationships or build new ones. And of course we have to be at the Show because it gives a chance for everyone to see the full line, and to talk about any problems or potential opportunities." Josh Roberts, VP, Nitro Snowboards

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