Two outdoors stores get new owners
Both Summit Canyon Mountaineering and Colorado Canoe and Kayak changed ownership this month – one to a chemical company vice president, the other to two former employees, ages 21 and 39. “I really can’t believe it. I’m still in disbelief,” said Brian Wright, the 21-year-old new co-owner of Colorado Canoe and Kayak.Wright graduated from Glenwood Springs High School in 2001 and from Colorado Mountain College with an associate’s degree in arts this spring. He bought the business Friday with Snowmass ski patroller Chris Vogt, 39. “It’s been kind of a crash course in small business,” Vogt said Tuesday. “My head is still spinning from all the paperwork.”The two are first-time business owners with big plans for Colorado Canoe and Kayak.
“I think the boating community in this area has really needed a focal point, and I think the shop’s a natural place for that focus,” Vogt said. “I think we’re planning on making some pretty serious changes,” Wright said. “(But) a lot of our plans ride on this whitewater park.”The basic idea is to “make it more fun to be a boater in this area,” he said. “One of our focuses is going to be to bring young people into the sport.”The pair bought the shop from Annie Hoghaug and Bob Durand, who co-owned the shop for 13 years. Hoghaug seemed relieved to have gotten rid of the shop. “It’s just the kind of business that takes a lot of energy, and it was just time (to sell),” she said. Hoghaug wanted more time with her daughter and for the shop to do well. Kayaking has changed since she bought the store, and it has taken on a bit more of a “skatepark mentality,” she said.
Wright and Vogt’s youth will help make them great new owners, she said. “They really do have the potential to take it to the next level.” Summit CanyonCarl and Kathy Moak will bring a markedly different background to Summit Canyon, but don’t plan big changes for the store. “Steve and Marilyn (Davis) have done a great job of building the business up. … We’re just hoping to build on what they’ve created,” Carl Moak said.
The Moaks moved haven’t yet completed a move from Tampa, Fla., but closed on Summit Canyon on June 1. They bought the company with the help of Glenwood Springs’ Business World Brokers, which matched them with Summit Canyon. The Davises weren’t planning to sell the store right away and weren’t really trying to sell, but had thought maybe in the next four or five years they would, Marilyn Davis said. They simply took advantage of a willing buyer, she said. The Moaks have little retail experience, but Carl, a chemical engineer, was vice president of a chemical company, which made baking soda. He and his partners sold the company about a year ago, which put him in a position to buy business, he said. The Moaks’ situation is actually fairly similar to that of the Davises, who moved from Oklahoma with little retail experience to run the store 14 years ago. The Davises moved from the Tamarack Building, opening a second store and a coffee shop in that time. Summit Canyon’s list of employees will pretty much stay the same, Moak said, right down to the Davises’ two kids, who help manage the store and coffee shop. “We’re just happy to be in Colorado, and away from the hurricanes and humidity,” Steve Davis said.
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