Jans opens new distribution center in Kamas
December 22, 2007
Jans, Ltd. has grown a lot in Park City the last two decades, but CEO Russ Coburn says he’s had a difficult time keeping up with storage space for distribution.
"Jans gets flipped winter to summer," he said. "We need a lot of space and we couldn’t find a building or lot that we could remodel [to build a warehouse] that made sense in Park City."
Jans, Ltd. currently has 11 locations in Park City. The "Mountain Recreation Experts" specialize in men’s, women’s and children’s outdoor clothing and sports gear, including Nordic and alpine skiing, snowboarding, backpacking, rock climbing and snow-mobiling. Each season, Coburn’s staff switches out the summer gear for the winter gear.
Because of Jans growth, Coburn recently built a new distribution center in Kamas to relieve the trouble of transporting, transitioning and delivering goods to all 11 stores in town, including White Pine Touring, Outdoor Kids/Snowball Effect and the Jans Rennstall ski repair and tuning shop.
Jans broke ground for the new warehouse in September and just finished construction this month. By summertime, Jans also plans to open a new retail shop in Kamas adjacent to the distribution center.
For the last 15 years or so since Coburn became a partner of Jans, Ltd., he says his staff was confined to the 10,000-square-foot Park City warehouse the company rented. They were also renting numerous storage units in town in order to accommodate the ever-increasing summer and winter goods being shipped in throughout the transition seasons.
Recommended Stories For You
"We had a distribution center in Park City and we had nearly half a dozen storage facilities for Jans in town," Coburn said. "It’s a lot of flip-flopping. It’s very labor-intensive."
Coburn said the new Jans Distribution Center is about 18,000 square feet. It is located at 138 West 280 South near Food Town in Kamas.
Coburn said the new center is at a convenient location and is a great addition to the Kamas community.
"The best part is, we own it, and we’ll own it for cheaper than we were paying rent at our last distribution center [and] storage units [in Park City]," Coburn says of the new warehouse."[Kamas] has been so fantastic and we have a number of employees that live out there."
Coburn said White Pine Touring has seen a lot of growth the past several years. Jans is currently in the process of expanding White Pine Touring on Bonanza Drive, which currently occupies the upper level at Rail Central. The company recently purchased the main level of the building, as well.
White Pine also sells season ski passes, rents skis and maintains 20 kilometers of tracks for Nordic skiers on the Park City Golf Course. It also offers snowmobile tours.
Coburn says, while the increase in business has been great, transporting and delivering goods to every store in town is no easy task.
"I felt so bad for our employees that ran receiving [before we had the new warehouse]," Coburn said. "We had stacks of boxes in the parking lot. We did not have enough room to get everything inside."
Now, thanks to the bigger distribution center, Coburn says shipping and receiving is an easier task.
"Now we have fork lifts and more room," Coburn says. "It’s so relaxing. Our company has taken a deep breath."
Coburn said the new building in Kamas is completely green-friendly and takes on the appearance of an old barn in order to blend in with Kamas’ ranching community.
"Ted Warr is the finest architect in this community," Coburn ways of Warr, who is a local architect and designed the new distribution center. "It’s gorgeous. We went overboard on the exterior to make it look like a barn and the city council and mayor love it because it looks like an old barn. There is distressed sheet metal on the exterior [and on the roof] that looks like it’s rusting."
Coburn said the new building also features some of the greatest green-building technology around.
"We went as green as we could go and we’ve been getting greener and greener," Coburn says of his local businesses.
One unique feature of the new distribution center is the tube sunlight fixtures installed in the ceiling that take reflective light from the roof and bring it inside to naturally light the entire warehouse during the daytime. Coburn said local Alpine Electrics electrician Scott Richards installed 20 or so of these fixtures in the warehouse. He said they work really well.
"They create an explosion of light over the warehouse," Coburn said. "The first year, they pay for themselves."
The Jans, Ltd. president also purchases wind power from Rocky Mountain Power for all 11 of his businesses.
"We pay the extra [amount] every month to go wind power," Coburn said.
Since Coburn became a partner of Jans, Ltd. in 1990 after Jan Peterson started the business in Park City in 1980, he said he has enjoyed his job and is happy to be a part of the team.
He has several full-time staff members that travel around the United States to all the winter and summer outdoor expo shows, bringing the latest and greatest outdoor and sports gear to Park City.
"We have buyers for all the different divisions and departments at Jans, from fly fishing, to mountain biking, to skiing," he said. "They go to shows year-round."
Coburn said Parkites and tourists can expect the most up-to-date outdoor and sports gear at Jans’ various locations in town.
For more information, visit http://www.jans.com or call (800) 745-1020. Jans has several retail stores located downtown on Park Avenue, Main Street and at Park City Mountain Resort. Jans Distribution Center is located at 138 West 280 South in Kamas. For more information about the distribution center, call (435) 783-6770.