Norda’s gets off to a promising start
Norda’s Board, Skis Rental Service at Redstone Towne Center is down to three helmets for sale, and a sparse selection of jackets, twin-tip skis, hats and goggles, but continues to buzz with business early in the morning and mid-afternoon with late-spring skiers.
According to Norda’s owner Chip Bullen, the shop may be somewhat removed from the slopes, but it has managed to capture a good mix of local shoppers in Jeremy Ranch and Glenwild as well as visitors in its first year.
Norda’s opened in November and plans on continuing to build on the shop’s success through the summer months, bringing in long board skate boards, hiking boots from the Timberland boot company, and other light, summer wear. Bullen expects will change gears from winter to spring sports by the end of April.
The Redstone Norda’s is the Park City version of the original Norda’s in Logan, opened by co-owner Tom Emmett 12 years ago. Emmett named the store after his first ski instructor: his mother.
The Park City location is the beginning of an expansion for the store, Bullen says, which is soon to be matched by the launch of a Web site, http://www.nordas.com within the next three months.
Bullen says what makes the store unique is its willingness to take a chance on new products, coupled with its local and able-bodied staff.
"Everyone who works here grew up learning to ski or ride in Utah, so they know the resorts and they either ski or snowboard at least three to four times a week," Bullen said, noting one of his employees, Mike Campbell recently won Beaver Mountain’s Big Air Contest. "It gives the store a different vibe, I think. We have a lot more park skiing and big mountain skiing experience."
Norba’s does not departmentalize, notes Bullen. Each member is equally skilled as ski and snowboard technicians and can operate a register, Bullen notes. "You can talk to anyone in our shop, and they’ll be able to tell you anything about our gear or where to ride," Bullen confirms.
For skiers, the shop carries Atomic, Dynastar, Solomon, Armatta, Line and Roxy skis for rent or for purchase. Ski boots available are Solomon, Atomic and Lange. Outerwear for skiers includes Spyder, Marmot and Obermeyer.
For riders, the shop features Rome, Lib_Tech, Gnu, Ride, Atomic and Roxy boards. In snowboard boots, the shop offers DC and Sepia.
Bullen explains he has always dreamed of owning his own ski shop, and has been skiing and riding snowboards for more than two decades. His father, a ski patroller, taught him how to ski, but at this point, he rides snowboards more often than he skis.
Before becoming an owner of a ski shop, Bullen earned an MBA from Thunderbird University and worked as a Honda Account manager for the air bag company, Autoliv. He became fluent in Japanese after living in Japan as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.
"I was sick of working for corporate America and didn’t want to waste away in a cubicle," Chip says.
His trips to Japan inspire him to shop for unknown designers, he says.
"It’s important to cater to the traditional ski vacation crowd, but we’re also trying to appeal to the youth market," he explains. "A lot of shops up in Park City don’t embrace the snowboarding and youth market."
Norda’s Mountain Outfitters is located at 77 North Main Street in Logan, and now at the Redstone Towne Center 1635 West, No. 105 Redstone Center Drive, open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily. For more information, 575-SNOW (7669).
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