New Location at Sunday River
Phone (207) 824-2519
111 Skiway Road Newry, Maine
Ron and Kenny Jacques probably never heard the adage “do what you love and success will follow” because the noise at their jobs in a Jay, Maine paper mill kept conversation to a minimum. But this story of two brothers with a passion for skiing and a knack for technology gives new vigor to that trite advice.
One powdery day back in 1996 Ron and Kenny spent a favorite sport and having a great time. On their way home the discussion turned to the lack of a good place to purchase ski equipment despite the fact that, at the time, there were two established ski shops in Jay and several more on the road to Sugarloaf. By the end of that snowy ride the basic plan for Jay’s third ski shop was inscribed on the back of an envelope -- or some scrap of paper scrounged off the car floor.
Ron’s interest in computer technology paid off twice as the brothers put their plan in motion. Before heading to the Providence Ski Show, Ron created a computer presentation with a map showing the existing retail ski outlets surrounding Jay and ideas on how to do things better. They left Maine thinking they might entice two suppliers but drove home with backing from Atomic, Elan, Head, K2, Dynastar, Lang, Koflach, Tyrolia and more! The first store opened with pocket change in the drawer, four dozen pairs of skis and six dozen pairs of boots. Sales were steady, but the snowy winter of 1996 was followed by a couple years of less than stellar conditions on the slopes. They still had their jobs at the mill, and so, hoping to expand their sales reach Ron purchased the ‘ski-depot.com’ domain name in 1997. While many people wondered who in the world would buy skis using a computer, the brother’s quit the mill, shipped their first pair of skis in 1998 and never looked back. As early adopters in the bonanza of on-line retailing ski-depot.com quickly became Fischer ski’s largest retail dealer, and for a period of time, the third largest e-tailer in the country. Ski Depot currently sells and ships over 3,000 pairs of skis to customers around the world with many of their skis ending up as far away as China.
The Jay ski shop continued to grow, employing local people and necessitating a move into a larger building situated along the Androscoggin River, but other attempts at local expansion into traditional brick and mortar stores were short lived. Then, this past summer, just before the 4th of July, the Jacques boys received a call from Fred Cowan, the owner of Jack Frost, a popular retail store on the Sunday River access road. Fred was looking to sell his location and knew that Ski Depot would be an excellent company to service his customer base. Ron and Kenny jumped at the opportunity, offering Sunday River skiers a place to find volume ski prices at a familiar venue.
Ski Depot brings a huge selection of equipment to the new store, catering to racers and freestylers, all skiers new and old -- there is something for every skier on the hill. Freeriders will be stoked with the amazing assortment of Line skis and Full Tilt boots. Kenny Jacques is personally overseeing all operations, with Hakan Adams at the helm in the boot fitting department. A full service tuning shop downstairs will take care of binding adjustments, ski tuning and maintenance with Jeffrey “Dewey” Dewhurst and Bruce Cummings manning the counter. The mission to create a truly great ski shop that customers trust and return to time and again is just as important today as it was on that ride back from a great day on the mountain 16 years ago.