Black Diamond readies to open a storefront on Main Street in Park City
Black Diamond Equipment, the Millcreek-based outdoors company, is preparing to open a storefront on Main Street, adding to the corporate presence on the shopping, dining and entertainment strip at a time when smaller, independently owned businesses are struggling amid the economic downturn.
The storefront is expected to debut in late August, timing the opening three months before the scheduled start of the ski season. A large sign was posted in recent days in the front of the building, 592 Main St. Black Diamond will join a series of other nationally prominent outdoors companies with a storefront on Main Street, including L.L. Bean, Patagonia and The North Face.
The corporations are seen as desiring the visibility of Main Street in one of North America’s top-tier mountain resorts. The storefronts offer them high-profile locations that act as a marketing tool in addition to a place to sell their goods.
“Utah is our backyard,” Devin Battersby, the director of retail for Black Diamond, said, adding, “It’s who we are.”
The store on Main Street will be the company’s fourth in Utah, following those in Salt Lake City, Millcreek and Lehi. It will offer apparel, ski equipment and other goods. Some of the items will be exclusive to Black Diamond stores, she said, describing the location as “very different” from a typical retailer on Main Street. It will also provide the services of a ski shop and allow people to try out skis through a demonstration program.
Battersby, though, said the company also wants to become involved in the community, describing ideas to foster events like trail cleanups and team with restaurants, other retailers and ski-touring outfits. Workshops and classes are planned at the Main Street location, she said, describing that “education and innovation” will be part of the experience.
“We don’t want to just sell products,” she said, explaining that customers no longer want to be sold something and then leave a store quickly afterward.
Battersby said Black Diamond signed a long-term lease for the space. A boutique once was in the location.
The opening of the Black Diamond store is scheduled at a moment when some of the small businesses on Main Street are believed to be in a precarious financial situation.
The coronavirus-forced early end to the most recent ski season, coupled with the difficult economic conditions into the summer, has left the future uncertain for some.
The Main Street Deli recently closed after more than 40 years in business. The Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents the interests of businesses in the Main Street core, has indicated others are in danger of closing permanently as well.
The national-level firms, though, are positioned better than the smaller businesses to afford lease rates on Main Street, which are believed to be some of the highest in the state. The national firms see there being a return on the investment through the visibility of Main Street, which draws crowds throughout the year and an especially well-heeled clientele during the ski season.
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Park City tightly regulates the number of conventional chain businesses that are allowed on Main Street, but there is space for another chain as a 7-Eleven readies to open in a building toward the middle of the street.