Silver Star gearing up for summer
Mining has kept Park City alive since, well, the beginning.
Pulling silver out of Summit County mountains is what put the town on the map, but according to Todd Fischer, general manager at Silver Star Ski and Sport, "white gold," aka snow, is what kept it there.
But while mining is a year-round trade, Fischer, and other recreational outfitters in the area, who rely on snow, only get a few months out of the year to capitalize on their trade – skiing.
This time of year outdoor retail stores in Park City are going through a "changing-of-the-guard" as the snow or "white gold," melts and a new season begins.
Walking into Silver Star located at the base of Park City Mountain Resort’s Silver Star lift, cruiser bikes, paddle boards and golf grips clutter the normally tidy store.
"It doesn’t look like were open right now, but this mess should be put away in a few days," Fischer said, while carefully walking through the store as shop dog, Vidalia, led the way.
"Stores in the area need to find something different to put on the shelves during the summer, skis sure don’t sell. Some stores carry bikes, others carry lawn furniture. We are trying to cater to the outdoor lifestyle, so we carry a little bit of everything," he added.
This past week, Fischer and his four-man crew have been putting away anything related to winter and swapping it with summer gear – not furniture.
During, what Fischer describes as a "spring cleaning," the store which focuses on high performance rental equipment and apparel for all seasons, is replacing skis with cruiser bicycles, ski jackets with fresh summer wear, goggles with golf grips, and snow boards with paddle boards.
"Almost everybody in Park City is here for the same reason; they want to enjoy the outdoors. If that means kicking it like Kung Fu drinking a beer outside the store on the plaza, or engaging in some mountain biking or hiking, this town has it all," Fischer said. "But, that’s the problem, well I guess the fun with running a ski shop during the summer, you need to have your hands in a little bit of everything to survive."
‘Epic Fridays,’ as he likes to call them, are days Fischer lets his crew run the operation while he goes out and plays.
At 6:45 a.m. Fischer starts the day with nine-holes of golf, followed by a mountain bike ride on the various trails located outside the front doors of his store. His biking jersey is then swapped with a fishing vest for his early afternoon fly fishing for Brown Trout on the Provo River. Amazingly, at the end of the day he finishes it atop a paddle board for a cruise around the shoreline of Jordanelle Reservoir.
The only equipment the store doesn’t carry is the fishing gear, he said.
Living in the area since 1998, Fischer spent eight years in the ski industry working at Deer Valley Resort as a mountain host and rental shop manager.
The avid outdoorsman is also accustomed to switching gears during the summertime, filling the role as a golf professional at Park City Golf Club and Tuhaye Golf Club.
"I guess you could call me a jack-of-all-trades and a master at none," Fischer laughed, Kate joining from somewhere hidden in the clutter of the store. "But really, at the end of the day we like to have fun. Obviously there is a lot of stuff that needs to be done in the store right now, making this job feel like work since, well last year at about this time. Really were trying to sell a lifestyle that all of the employees are really avid about."
Chris Poepping has been on the job at Silver Star since the beginning of the week, but the bicycle mechanic with over 20 years of experience has already helped get a new fleet of rental bikes ready for the new season.
According to Fischer, a new fleet of cruiser bicycles, mountain bikes and paddle boards are available for rental during the summer. Those with their own gear, a full mechanic is on duty every day, perfect for last minute tune-ups or heavy work.
Plaza Palooza will also be making its return Thursday June 13 to the Silver Star Plaza. The laid-back concert series, offering food and beverages, and a bike ride to the McPolin Farm and back, led by Fischer, will be taking place every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. until Labor Day. The event is free.
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