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Old 06-03-2011   #11
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 114

Having CKS back you for inventory will be key. Few stores have enough customers to really stock their shelves. When I go to buy a throw rope, I want spectra. Every store carries poly cause its cheap and that is what most boaters want. Same goes for a lot of other gear. CKS will benefit a lot from being closer to front range boaters.

It seems like I end up ordering gear for more last minute stuff from CKS simply because I can get everything I need. Also, a small store can't staff the people needed to run a really good online store and paddle shop. I'm guessing CKS will be able to also tell you when to have a specific item in stock...for example they sell 10 drysuits in March, 20 in April, 30 in May etc.

I personally like the fact I can get on a plane and fly to Portland/Hood River and borrow a boat. Saves a ton of hassle. Might be nice for people traveling here to have that as an option.

If you are going to cater at all towards creeker boaters, work something out w/ 5.10 to stock their river tennis/canyoneers. Its hard to stock them because they cost a ton, but they are impossible to try on and their sizing is weird. If a local store stocked them, I would have bought them there in a second instead of ordering 3 pairs and sending 2 back.

Most of all set our expectations. If you are going to just cater to play boaters, tell us. If you want to cater to all kinds of kayakers, be ready to back that up with matching gear (EX:high end rescue vests if you sell creek boats).

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Old 06-03-2011   #12
N. Wigston's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
Thanks again everyone. And to be clear, this is not a sure thing. We want feedback from the community to see if it is feasible for everyone involved. CKS is currently only involved in our rental operation, and there is no retail arrangement. If the community shows demand, our retail operation might grow, and we would love to have CKS with us if they are into
It. but it's still in the feasibility phase.

So if you want a retail store around here, you should come on Thursday. Can't wait to see you all there, and keep sending the feedback.


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Old 06-03-2011   #13
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
Also, like I said, we can special order stuff from CKS and we cover the shipping costs.

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Old 06-03-2011   #14
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 328
What are you going to do when the rivers stop flowing? I'd imagine that has hurt many paddle specific shops. During the winter I don't go looking for new boating gear, I'm looking for some pretty specific winter recreation gear which most shops don't carry. Look at bent gates selection which isn't already supported in Boulder, granted most will be there between REI and Neptune with the exception of a good tele rental option. A paddle shop really is a tough model.

Hours are probably key, I’ll second that. Get out and do demos as well, meet your customers on the river, make them feel like family.

Keep in mind that big ticket items are usually planned ahead of time making internet options viable. Match internet pricing or focus on the items people are less likely to buy online.
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Old 06-06-2011   #15
arkriverrat's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 113
Gasket Repair...

Hey Nick,
I can't wait to have a local shop again, and try to support them as much as I can. I can tell you that I have ~ 8 gaskets in need of repair currently, and would gladly bring them in to a local shop for a timely quality repair rather than suffer through my own hack job. That said, I rarely leave any paddle shop I go to empty handed... Unfortunately I think the inventory thing is gonna be a tough one. I NEED to try something on and like the fit of it right there. That said though, if I can plan ahead enough not to need something that day, could probably wait a day for the color of item I wanted to come in, as long as there was one representative item in the store to check fit... Hope to see you Thursday, loved the swift water course I took from you a few years ago!
Also, stand behind your gear. I love local, and still shop at Neptune, but am not loyal to them anymore due to at least a particular employees unwillingness to help with a warranty issue. I would much rather not shop the REI's of the world, but it is hard not to when they stand behind their gear (in some cases to a fault), and the local mom/pop shop wants to charge an arm and a leg to "help" facilitate a legitimate warranty repair issue on items that they sold me... That kind of thing makes my blood boil...
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Old 06-06-2011   #16
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,027
Regarding using CKS for inventory - that's a tough one. Is this a service I feel like I need? Not really. I'm content ordering from CKS myself and stuff is usually at my door the next day and the 10% AW discount usually negates the shipping cost and then some.

However, waiting a day to get gear is rarely a problem and I would probably order through your shop if it would help you get going, but lack of free shipping to a local store to pick up is not a void I'm dying to have filled.
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Old 06-06-2011   #17
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 63
Repair kit items, like Hypo and stabond, straps, dry bags, other basic items that have been suggested. Definitely rent wetsuits, PDFs... It would be great to be able to get that stuff before I go to the river when I have peeps who don't have the right gear, instead of renting it on the way up to the river at Rancho, RMA, Alpine Quest, or any other place that rents.

In the mean time for items like that Boulder Army will order any thing from DR and it usually gets there in a day or 2. You don't have to pay for shipping, same cost as at DR, and you don't have to drive to DR. That's been my solution since BOC went out of business. Alpine never carried things for rafts. They didn't even have a basic air pump.

It would be awesome to have a store again in Boulder that has some gear so I don't have to order or plan a trip to the boat store as part of my river trip. Can't make it Thurs day, but good luck.
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Old 06-07-2011   #18
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
I'm out of town, but I'd be there otherwise.

Since it's already a niche business and it's in Boulder, maybe it makes sense to play Walmart (with quality in place of price) and be opinionated about the stock you carry. Rather than carrying 10 types of drytops at various price points, carry the 2-3 that will last and that people like. Recommendations enforced by inventory, essentially.

(+1 on 5.10s)

Another idea: host a community gear library--everyone's got stuff that they rarely use (but might!) and don't want to go through the trouble of getting rid of it--why not lend it out? If people know that they can swing by to borrow a paddle after breaking theirs, they end up in the shop to buy a new one.
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Old 06-09-2011   #19
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
Just a reminder to show up today around 5:30. Anyone want to run boulder creek before hand?

Nick - 303-809-8942
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Old 06-13-2011   #20
They call me Jon
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 07
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 65
So for those of us that couldn't make it on Thursday what happened? Anything decided one way or the other? Will Boulder be getting a new shop? Who is Cartman's Real dad? Find out next time?...

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boulder, lyons creek clinic

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