Stop by the Slopeside shop or the Gear Up Mountain Shop at some point this season and you’ll undoubtedly come across HoliMont’s newest full time employee. After over a decade of running Sliders Snowboard Shop in Colden, NY, Greg Culver will be bringing his knowledge and love of the ski industry to HoliMont. As HoliMont’s new shop manager, Culver will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of onsite retail, rental equipment, and gear tuning. Perhaps more importantly he will be tasked with bringing a fresh perspective to the two shops and maximizing the potential that they have to benefit HoliMont members and guests.
Culver comes to HoliMont with an extensive and diverse history in the ski industry. After growing up skiing and then later snowboarding on the slopes of Kissing Bridge he started working as a nighttime lift attendant during the 1992 ski season. After two seasons of swinging chairs he transitioned over to the KB snowsports school in order to get out on snow more and share his love of being outdoors on snow with others. In 1999 Culver attended an American Association of Snowboard Instructors’ (AASI) certification clinic at HoliMont where he attained his Level I certification and from that point on he knew that the ski industry was where he wanted to be.
“I had a great job and had worked my way up the corporate ladder a bit and was living quite comfortably,” Culver stated. “But I always felt like I wanted to do something else and the appeal of combining a business with my passion seemed like an exciting opportunity.” That mindset eventually led Culver to open Sliders Snowboard Shop where he spread the good gospel of the snowboarding lifestyle to every patron who walked through his doors.
Sadly, after many years of good times in the shop and on the slope (why own a snowboard shop if you don’t make some time to test the product?), Culver was forced to close up shop at Sliders before the start of last season. And just like that his future in the ski industry was up in the air.
Culver took his newfound open schedule as an opportunity to catch up on lost time out on the slopes of Holiday Valley where he spent last season working full time in the snowsports school.
“Getting on snow full time last year was great,” said Culver. “My body was pretty battered by the end of the season but it was good fun. I really enjoyed the customer service and interaction aspect and teaching gets you at the front lines. I love winter and love the cold temps. Granted, we had some pretty nasty cold days but with the right gear and a few more warm-up breaks you could find some great sliding conditions.”
Alas, when the snow melted off the slopes, Culver went back to the drawing board to evaluate his future and whether or not snow sports was going to be a part of it. Given the fact that he was pretty set on continuing to live in the Western New York area he realized that his options were somewhat limited. That is, until he saw the shop manager opening at HoliMont. “After trying to find my spot in the WNY snow biz for a while,” Culver said, “I thought HoliMont could be an opportunity to find a new home, not just a job.”
“My goal with Slopeside is to offer cool products at reasonable prices and keep the ‘got to have’ items stocked,” Culver said. He went on to state that; “this year will give me a chance to get a finger on the pulse of the HoliMont customer. I want to find out what they need and want. “ For those already familiar with the shop, Culver said that moving forward he would like to bring in a few new soft good brands to replace some of the less popular sellers. He’s looking to bring more Burton apparel in and is currently looking at least one new ski line. Additionally he envisions a cool selection of HoliMont branded items.
On the rental and tuning side of things, Culver has similar plans. He stated; “Gear-Up’s focus will be on fast and efficient customer service. I’d like to continue to work with local shops and offer demos of the latest and greatest gear. In the Tune-Up shop I would like to improve turn-around time and efficiency. I’m kind of a neat freak so everything is getting reorganized and cleaned.” He finished by saying that he would also be looking to eventually update some of the equipment in the shop and ideally will be offing more ski race products and accessories.
Given that the 2015-16 ski season is right around the corner, Culver has definitely had to hit the ground running in order to acclimate himself to his new path in life. But since it’s a trail that he has more or less walked alongside for years now, there is little doubt that he has the aptitude to do the job well. So make sure you stop by both Slopeside and Gear Up this season to check out the changes. You might just find some unique items that you didn’t even know you needed.