September 2019 Member of the Month: Ridgway Adventure Sports
In an ongoing effort to promote and get to know our local businesses, the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to introduce our September 2019 RACC Member of the Month:
Ridgway Adventure Sports
Who are the owners and where are they from?
Ridgway Adventure Sports is owned and operated by Andy Persio and Amanda F. Swain. Andy is originally from Pennsylvania, and Amanda from New Hampshire. Both of us started coming to the area (Ouray specifically) in the early 1990s.
What inspired you to start this business?
Both Andy and I have been in love with the area after coming to it regularly for 30 years to visit family and for schooling. In the fall of 2017, we saw that there was no longer an outdoor gear shop in town and knew it was now or never to make our dream come true. A month later we came back to search for a location and toured the Fort Smith building. Both of us loved the historical significance and the physical space. It was exciting to see our vision fall into place as we signed our lease.
What’s new with your business?
We are excited to expand our physical space this fall and will bring the full-service ski-tuning shop in house. Last year most of the tuning was out of our home garage, so getting our team on site will be a great benefit to customers. Also, we just started offering online bookings for our bike rentals and demos, which will translate in the winter to online booking for our AT skis, splitboards, snowshoes, and cross country skis.
What do you like most about Ridgway?
The physical beauty. The access to outdoor recreation, including amazing hiking, biking, backpacking, and skiing. The mountains, the mountains, the mountains! The small-town feel and family ties. The variation of creative, ranching, mountain/outdoors perspective that the community offers… and did we mention the mountains?
What are your biggest challenges and rewards?
Our biggest challenge and reward is earning the trust and loyalty of the community. Our second biggest challenge is having inventory for the mix of local and tourist customers. We are here primarily to serve the local community but a lot of our customers are tourists. Having appropriate gear, apparel and bikes for both is a balancing act. Each season we learn more about both, and hope to continue to improve our selection. We love getting feedback about how we can improve our selection and what is currently working. Since Ridgway isn't a big town, we can't carry everything though we want to. Still, we can special order almost anything.