Father and son team up at PCMR
December 7, 2013
It is every child’s dream to be able to boss around their parents at least once in their lives, and now, Jackson Knoll gets to do so every day. He and his father, Paul Knoll, opened ski equipment and apparel retail and rental shop Jackson’s Base Camp at Park City Mountain Resort.
"When we come into the shop, I’m the boss, but once we step back out those doors, he makes it very clear he’s the boss again," Jackson Knoll said as his father sat laughing beside him.
Even if his son is the boss from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, Paul said opening a business with his son is something he has always dreamt about. "Working with my son has been so great," he said.
The father and son work well together, because both have business backgrounds. Paul received a degree in therapeutic recreation from Michigan State University and now has more than 30 years of experience in the health care sales and marketing.
Jackson majored in business management and minored in communication and leadership skills at Hope College in Holland, Mich. and has seven years of managerial experience in ski shops.
"I’ve always wanted to open up a ski shop of my own, ever since I was in high school," he said. "I assistant managed a ski shop in college and became a manager here in Utah, which is when I heard about this space opening up here at PCMR."
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Paul said they planned on opening a ski shop of their own whenever the opportunity presented itself, so when they heard about the opening at PCMR, he said they had to take it.
The Knolls are from Michigan, and Paul said they came to Park City to ski as a family for years. "We get it; we know what it’s like both to live in a ski area and be a customer at a ski resort," he said.
Jackson Knoll said what makes his ski shop unique is that he selects ski equipment and apparel lines that are made from clean and reusable materials that are as eco-friendly as possible and made in the U.S. in order to support fair labor practices as well as the U.S. economy.
The ski equipment lines carried in the store are Elan, Atomic, HEAD and RAMP, which is Park City-based. Apparel and accessory lines include RAMP, HEAD and Never Summer.
Jackson said he is very selective of the lines carried in the store, but he is even more selective about his staff, which he is training right now.
"We made sure to hire people who not only have the knowledge and skills to fit customers for ski equipment but that have great people skills," Paul said. "We are committed and focused on delivering a family experience."
According to Jackson, the basis for the name "Jackson’s Base Camp" is to create a base-camp feel. that, he said he means he wants the shop to be so inviting and friendly that customers will return to the shop, or the "base camp," to ask where they should go to eat lunch or dinner or what sights there are to see in town.
"We are a small, owner-operated shop, not a big corporate store," Jackson said. "When you come in to rent apparel or equipment, you will be working with us, the owners, and we want to give you a personalized and comfortable experience."
Paul said they aim to keep prices moderate and affordable and refresh lines every two or three years so customers will receive the newest and safest gear possible. They will also offer locals specials, such as $10 all-day demo rentals.
"We are not only representing Park City Mountain Resort but Park City itself," Jackson said. "We want the community to know that we support them and we are here to provide as enjoyable an experience as possible."
Jackson’s Base Camp