East Coast Alpine Sports is a family owned specialty retailer offering expert services on a complete line of ski’s, snowboards, bicycles and skateboards-and all of the associated accessories.
Located in The Endicott Plaza in Danvers, Sarah Sullivan said she is passionate about the business she owns with husband John, and thrilled to bring the outdoor lifestyle to the Danvers community.
To date East Coast Alpine Sports has won the Snowsports Industries of America “Retailer of the Year” Award in 2010 and 2011; The Improper Bostonian “Best of Boston” Award in 2011, and Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston 2011.” For the third year in a row, East Coast Alpine Sports will be the premier retailer at the Boston.com Ski and Snowboard Expo, known in the industry as the BEWI, at The Seaport World Trade Center in Boston from Nov. 8-11.
“I will have over 20,000 square feet of retail space, and will feature over 5 million dollars in products,” said the owner. “After the horrible conditions last year, we were able to get close- out pricing from manufacturers that we can now pass on to customers at the expo.” Sullivan also noted that “anything that flows over from the expo will come to the retail stores in Boston and Danvers.”
The shop is currently in the midst of it's winter sale, and is offering Jr. Lease Ski Packages, as it has done in the past, where youths can lease last years gently used equipment for just $99 for the season.
The Sullivan’s, who reside in nearby Nahant, have been in business since 2002 when they opened their first specialty shop with a partner, before striking out on their own in 2008 with East Coast Alpine Sports in Boston, and in 2009 at the Danvers location.
“In 2009 we had a lot of people coming in and thinking the old store had renovated, not realizing we were a whole new store,” she explained. “Since then we have nurtured a great family of customers who tell their friends and family about our specialty ski and bike store.”
Sullivans retail family includes a terrific resource of knowledgeable staff, fellow sporting enthusiasts who are encouraged to participate in yearly excursions to the mountains to demo new equipment and emerging technologies.
“We are not just a retail store-we are a family of boarders who have the inside edge on the new stuff because we have an opportunity to buy in on the experience,” Sullivan stated. She continued, “Our employees love the lifestyle and the industries, and their knowledge and understanding is what is passed on to the customers.”
According to Brad Carter, East Coast Alpine Sports employee for the past four years, and in-house snowboarding expert, technology in boards and boarding accessories has boomed in the industry. For instance, Carter pointed out that Briton Board Boots utilize EST Technology in their boots, bindings and boards. This state of the art technology allows all of the components to flex together, which puts you as close to the board as possible and provides an incomparable boarding experience.
East Coast Alpine Sports also carries a wide range of snowboards to suit every age and skill level, and the savings run up to 40% off last season’s styles. One of the best known brands, Burton, can be found in varying shapes, sizes and colors. “Burton features five different shaped boards to aid in maneuverability and, of course, fun, because that’s what it’s all about!” he remarked.
Carter also noted the Ride Snowboards, which sport a wedged footbed, known in the boarding world as “the wedgie,” to accommodate the knock-knee’d boarding stance, the K2 and Flow feature rear entry and step-in bindings, and the popular Boa cord tightens a steel cable throughout the boot ankle zone for tightening. “The latest thing right now, “ he said. “is K2 Harshmellow. It never gets hard in cold weather, in fact, it stays squishy in the sole of the boot and the footbed of the binding and in the top sheet of the board.”
The best part of being in this sort of business, according to Sullivan, is reflecting on the time spent getting to know her family of customers.
“The real indicator are the referrals we get from happy customers who send in their family and friends, and they ask for an associate by name.
Or the wall of postcards we receive every holiday season, kids in front of the Christmas Tree saying thank you, or the little one’s in buying their first set of ski’s, and later moving up and growing in the sport. It warms our hearts,” she said.
”We are providing a lifestyle and a service, in a day when most kids are in front of video games, for families to come together for a family day... get in their car and head out into nature to be active and healthy. It’s exciting to be a part of that with the families that come here.”
For more information, East Coast Alpine Sports can be found on Facebook, Twitter, by email, or their website. For online shopping, visit them at skimonster.com