A Virtual Retailer Brings the Outdoors to the Real Indoors
In 1996, Jim Holland and John Bresee started selling avalanche beacons online out of a garage in Park City. Flash forward a few years, and their small online operation has since evolved into Backcountry.com, a mega e-tailer for all manner of outdoor gear.
With such a popular digital presence, and in an era when many brick-and-mortars are closing up shop, it was a bit of a head-scratcher when the company recently opened its first retail location in Park City’s Redstone Center (1640 W Redstone Center Dr, Ste 115), located in the same building as their corporate headquarters. But the store nods to Backcountry’s beloved local roots, as well as its continued growth: a second store has since opened in Boulder, Colorado, and two more retail locations are slated for Seattle and Washington, DC, in 2022.
“Park City was decided as the first [retail] expansion because it’s where our brand was born,” says Chris Purkey, senior vice president of customer experience and retail. “The pandemic obviously brought on countless challenges for everyone, but it also reiterated the importance of community connection. Our team has worked so hard to build the Park City store and create a space that will bring people together. Our brand comes to life in physical retail in a way that’s hard to replicate on screen.”
Some of those IRL highlights include ski mounting, full bike repair and tuning services, and the advice of Gearheads, Backcountry’s in-house team of product experts. Customers can work with Gearheads for trip planning, gear and apparel purchases, and concierge-like outdoor guidance. Through December, the store will host a five-part educational series with the Utah Avalanche Center, and additional community events and local programming are in the works.
As for the goods themselves, the store offers a range of products featured on the website; merchandise is refreshed weekly, with full change-outs occurring on a seasonal basis. And if you can’t find the right gear, color, or size you need, you can use the “endless aisle” feature at the in-store kiosk to order directly out of the nearby West Valley City warehouse. Orders placed before 3 p.m. will be available for same-day pickup at the store. Staying at a Park City hotel? Backcountry will hand-deliver your order for a fee—even better than overnight shipping.
Backcountry winter store hours
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.