Customer Appreciation Weekends

Every Friday through Sunday throughout the holiday season, all Alpine Shop locations (including The Pathfinder in Manhattan, Kan.) celebrate “Customer Appreciation Weekends.”

Holiday Cheer
Drinks and snacks… courtesy of all Alpine Shop locations this holiday season.

What does a “Customer Appreciation Weekend” mean? It means we’re absolutely delighted to have you in our stores and want to make sure you’re just as happy to shop with us. So, we stock up on beer, wine, coffee, tea, soft drinks and water, along with snacks. And then we give it away to our shoppers.

We know not everyone likes heading out on their weekends to shop this time of year. We’re just trying to make it easier – and more enjoyable – for everyone.

It’s just our way of saying “Thanks” for continuing to support local businesses and continuing to shop with us at Alpine Shop.

Happy Bike Shop Day – Saturday, December 9

New Bike Shop entrance at Alpine Shop Kirkwood
The all-new dedicated Bike Shop entrance at Alpine Shop Kirkwood

On Saturday, December 9, we hope you’ll join us to celebrate the Inaugural Bike Shop Day at Alpine Shop Kirkwood and The Pathfinder in Manhattan, Kan.

Drop by our Kirkwood shop and be one of the first to use the ALL NEW dedicated Bike Shop entrance. We’ll have it open for a sneak peek between 11 am and 3 pm before it opens permanently later on this winter.. While you try it out, stop in and sign up to win Alpine Shop gift cards and more prizes in the department.

To make it an even better event, we’ll also have in-store only sales going on during that time period that we can’t advertise at both of our bike shop locations! Shhh, don’t tell any of our brands…

Come for the prizes and sales, stay for the complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, wine, beer and snacks! (Or vice versa. Whichever applies to you best.)

Happy Bike Shop Day!

Donate a Coat, Earn a Discount. Begins November 11.

One Warm Coat Drive Coats
Donated coats take over the conference room in our Kirkwood location as our annual One Warm Coat Drive begins once again.

Since 2010, Alpine Shop customers have donated over 13,000 coats to help keep our communities warm during our winter coat drive. This year, we’re asking for your help in bringing in 1000 more as Alpine Shop kicks off it’s 12th annual One Warm Coat Drive on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at all Alpine Shop locations and at The Pathfinder in Manhattan, Ks.

How It Works

From Saturday, Nov. 11 through Wednesday, Nov. 22, we’ll accept clean, gently-used coats, jackets and sweaters at each and every Alpine Shop location.

• For each coat or sweater donated you will receive one entry into a drawing for one of five $250 Alpine Shop Gift Cards that we will give away when we reach our goal of 1000 coats. (Each Alpine Shop store must collect at least 100 coats to be eligible to give away a gift card. Help your local store out!)
• For your participation in the coat drive, you’ll also receive a $25 off coupon on your next full-price purchase of $125 or more at any Alpine Shop store. (Some exclusions apply.)

NOTE: Alpine Shop will only give away one coupon to each customer during the coat drive no matter how many different coats you donate. However, each item donated will still earn one entry into the gift card drawing.

How to Donate

Alpine Shop has made donating simple. Just bring your clean, gently used coats, jackets and sweaters to any Alpine Shop location. Bring your coats inside the store and check them in with one of the store’s outfitters to make sure you receive your coupon and get entered into the drawing. Then, Alpine Shop and One Warm Coat take care of the rest.

Donated coats will be split among organizations in St. Louis, including: Sunshine Ministries and St. Patrick Center.  In O’Fallon, Ill., coats are split between the Violence Prevention Center in Belleville and the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center in East St. Louis. In Columbia, all coats will go to the Rainbow House. At The Pathfinder in Manhattan, Kan., all coats will be donated to the Salvation Army next door.

Not near one of our stores but still would like to participate? Pledge on your honor to donate a coat to an organization near you and you can take advantage of the offer above by using the code: WarmUp17 on-line at www.alpineshop.com.

About One Warm Coat

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that supports and encourages coat drives. It helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute the coats free to people in need. More than one million coats have been provided to those in need at no cost since its inception in 1992.

About Alpine Shop

What began in 1973 as a small climbing shop in Webster Groves, Missouri, now serves almost every type of outdoor enthusiast from backpackers, hikers, campers, paddlers, and cyclists, to snowboarders, skiers and adventure racers. With five family-owned locations across Missouri, Illinois and Kansas, Alpine Shop has not only been consistently named the Best Sporting Goods store in St. Louis for the past five years, but also has earned a national retailer of the year honor for its commitment to growth in outdoor sports.

After over 42 years in business, it is Alpine Shop’s vision to see Generations Transformed by Discovery Outdoors.

All New Tune Shop for 2017

 

Alpine Shop Tuning Shop
Alpine Shop’s brand new Wintersteiger tuning machines for 2017-18

For the 2017-18 Winter Season, Alpine Shop has completely revamped our Ski and Snowboard Tune Shop, bringing in all-new tuning machines to make sure we can continue to give you the professional tunes you’ve come to expect from one of the top ski shops in the country.

Featuring a full complement of Wintersteiger machines dedicated to making it easier than ever to perfect the edge or bevel on your skis or board, Alpine Shop can handle any type of service your gear may need.

Wintersteiger Base Grinder Omega S 350
The Wintersteiger Omega S 350 Base Grinder allows customized programs to give your skis or boards the perfect base for our staff to work with whatever conditions you’ll face.

So what does that mean to you? Faster skis, better turns and more enjoyable days on the slopes.

Our trained technicians  are ready to help you take advantage of what’s looking to be one of the best winter seasons in a long time – especially out west, where snow has already been falling in the Rockies for the past couple of weeks.

Drop in to our Kirkwood location with your gear and let us show you just how much fun you can have on the slopes this year. Or, drop off your skis or board at one of our other locations. We’ll take care of the transportation to our Kirkwood store at no charge to you.

Find out more about our services and pricing here.

St. Louis-Based Alpine Shop Acquires Fifth Outdoor Retail Location

Alpine Shop Owners Russell "Holly" & Lisa Hollenbeck.
Alpine Shop Owners Russell “Holly” & Lisa Hollenbeck.

Sign Letter of Intent to Purchase The Pathfinder in Manhattan, Kansas

ST. LOUIS – Alpine Shop, a St. Louis-based and family-owned outdoor retailer, has signed a letter of intent to purchase The Pathfinder, a specialty outdoor store in Manhattan, Kan., according to Alpine Shop’s owners, Russell “Holly” and Lisa Hollenbeck. As the fifth location for Alpine Shop, The Pathfinder will remain open during the transition period and will retain its name.

Bill and Erma Riley opened The Pathfinder, a single-store operation, in 1975, to bring to life their desire to help Kansans enjoy outdoor experiences as much as they did. Specializing in gear and clothing for bicycling, backpacking, paddling, climbing, traveling, fly fishing and other outdoor activities, they celebrated 40 years in business earlier this year.

Alpine Shop's Newest Location: The Pathfinder in Manhattan, Kansas
Alpine Shop’s Newest Location: The Pathfinder in Manhattan, Kansas

“We’re excited to be entering the Manhattan market with the purchase of The Pathfinder,” Russell Hollenbeck said. “When we entered the store for the first time, we immediately felt like we were walking into one of our own stores. That’s not something we take lightly. What Bill and Erma have created over the past 40 years here resonated with Lisa and me, and we’re looking forward to continuing that tradition.”

“Erma and I are delighted that our long time customers will continue to enjoy quality outdoor products and service with Alpine Shop ownership,” The Pathfinder’s owner, Bill Riley said. “Lisa and Holly Hollenbeck are known to give very personal attention to maintaining high professional standards. We appreciate their high credibility in our outdoor industry and their many years of building successful customer relationships. We are confident our Manhattan area customers will be well satisfied with this transition.”

The Pathfinder will become the Hollenbecks’ fifth retail store in early November, joining three Alpine Shop locations in Missouri and one in Illinois.

About Alpine Shop
What began in 1973 as a small climbing shop in Webster Groves, Mo., Alpine Shop now serves almost every type of outdoor enthusiast from backpackers, hikers, campers, paddlers, and cyclists, to snowboarders, skiers and adventure racers. The family-owned specialty outdoor retailer has consistently been named the Best Sporting Goods store in St. Louis for the past five years and also earned a 2012 national retailer of the year honor for its commitment to growth in outdoor sports.

AlpineShop_pathfinder-web_2015-1
The Pathfinder already carries many of the brands that Alpine Shop has helped make popular in the St. Louis area like The North Face, and Patagonia.
AlpineShop_pathfinder-web_2015-4
The Pathfinder already has a thriving bike business.
AlpineShop_pathfinder-web_2015-2
The Pathfinder, like Alpine Shop Kirkwood, is a Specialized Bike Dealer.

 

5 Reasons to Get Your Bike Tuned… Today!

Has your bike been tuned? Ever? Or did you bring it home from whatever shop you purchased it at and figured it was good to go?

Just like your car needs maintenance, your bike needs to be taken care of to make sure it performs safely every time you go for a ride. Here’s why:

bike-chain-02193
When was the last time you had your bike tuned?

1. Cables stretch.

Well that’s not true per se, but they do twist tighter. That makes them get longer, and that can seriously affect both shifting and breaking. New cables “stretch” the most and need to be adjusted. That’s why we offer free lifetime adjustments on all new bikes purchased from Alpine Shop.

2. Chains stretch.

Okay, again not really, but they do wear and that makes the chain get longer. When that happens, the chain no longer rides properly in the valleys between the teeth on your chainrings and cassette cogs. A worn, or “stretched”, chain will also cause the chainrings and cassette to wear more rapidly and “mate” to an old chain. So while a new chain may only be about $20 (and improve your ride immensely), a new cassette will be another $50, $75 or up.

3. Your wheels probably aren’t true.

Heck, they may not even be round. Impacts can cause a bicycle wheel to go out of true and wiggle side to side, or worse go out of round. The shape of your wheel is determined by the tension of the spokes, pulling the rim into shape. Small wiggles are easy to fix, but small wiggles can become big wiggles which can rub brake pads , become harder to correct or worse. Get them checked as part of a tune package at Alpine Shop.

4. Is your bike dirty?

A dirty bike really doesn’t work as well. Dirty cables lead to cable drag and that’s a (literal) drag on performance. Shifts aren’t as easy or as snappy and brakes require more squeeze. Dirty frames can also hide damage and keep moisture next to expensive shiny parts. (Turning them into rusty parts much, much faster.)

5. Do you lube?

Friction is no fun. Well, it’s good for slowing you down. Keeping your chain and pivots clean and lubed makes everything work the way it should. Dirt slows everything down and makes it wear faster. A clean bike is a happy bike. Which makes for a happy rider. Be a happy rider. Get your bike tuned today by the pros at Alpine Shop.

Our 8-Point Basic Bike Tune will take care of all of the above for you (provided there are no other underlying problems with the bike). And with $80 worth of work for just $65, you won’t find a better deal on a tune in the Greater St. Louis area. Bring your bike in to either our Kirkwood location or our O’Fallon, Ill., store on the east side of the river today!

Annual Coat Drive Begins Monday, November 24

child_cold_coat_drive-11214Since 2010, Alpine Shop customers have donated over 7000 coats to help keep our communities warm during our winter coat drive. This year, we’re asking for your help in bringing in 1000 more as Alpine Shop kicks off it’s ninth annual One Warm Coat Drive on Monday, November 24, 2014 at all Alpine Shop locations.

How It Works

From Monday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, December 7, we’ll accept clean, gently-used coats, jackets and sweaters at each and every Alpine Shop location.

• For each coat or sweater donated you will get one entry into a drawing for one of four $250 Alpine Shop Gift Cards that we will give away when we reach our goal of 1000 coats.
• For your participation in the coat drive, you’ll also receive a $30 off coupon to Alpine Shop.
NOTE: Alpine Shop will only give away one coupon to each customer during the coat drive no matter how many different coats you donate. However, each item donated will still earn one entry into the gift card drawing.

How to Donate

Alpine Shop has made donating simple. Just bring your clean, gently used coats, jackets and sweaters to any Alpine Shop location. Bring your coats inside the store and check them in with one of the store’s outfitters to make sure you receive your coupon and get entered into the drawing. Then, Alpine Shop and One Warm Coat take care of the rest.

Donated coats will be split among organizations in St. Louis, including: Sunshine Ministries, St. Patrick Center, Coats for Kids and Edgewood Children’s Center. In Columbia, all coats will go the Salvation Army.

Here’s a little bit of what your donations have meant to the St. Patrick Center in St Louis.

Thanks again for thinking of SPC for your One Warm Coat Drive. The coats we received were distributed immediately. Case Managers were able to support their clients and families as were people in the community in need. All of the coats were distributed within 2 days of receiving. It was especially gratifying with the quality (gently used) coats that clients received.

Thanks again to you and your customers for your support of our clients and community.

Regards,
Gene Smith
St. Patrick Center

About One Warm Coat

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that supports and encourages coat drives. It helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute the coats free to people in need. More than one million coats have been provided to those in need at no cost since its inception in 1992.

How to Choose the Best Kayak for You!

What is the best way to choose a kayak?

You have several options to start with: recreational kayaks, touring and sea kayaks, whitewater kayaks, fishing kayaks, and many of these offer a choice of sit in or sit on designs, and even solo or tandem seating. There are positives and negatives that need to be weighed when deciding on the right model for you.

The most important factor in choosing the right kayak is to have a good idea of what kind of paddling you want to do. Renting or demoing a kayak from a store or an outfitter on a local river or lake is a good idea since no two kayaks perform the same even if the dimensions are similar. Some colleges, universities and parks offer kayak and other outdoor equipment rentals to students and community members, as do military bases for service members. Since you will usually own your kayak for quite a while, picking the right one is essential for your enjoyment of the activity, and you want to choose the one that is suited to your preferred paddling destinations and activities while on the water, such as fishing.

In making your choice, consider the places you want to go and the type of water you expect to encounter. With this information in mind, here’s a closer look at your options.

Recreational Kayaks

Recreational kayaks of the variety with cockpits that allow you to sit close to the surface of the water and possible use a spray skirt are a great choice for entry-level or beginning kayakers. They are in the 9 to 11 foot range and are often referred to as “poke-around boats,” with the understanding that due to their shorter length they are not going to be used for long multi-mile trips hauling a lot of gear. They are just kayaks for adults or children to have fun with on gentle streams or placid ponds. They are typically wide, stable, lightweight, easy to get in and out of, and priced competitively. This makes them popular with beginners, children, seniors, and others for whom paddling is a just few hours out on the water with no particular destination in mind. The short length makes them quite easy to transport and store as well.

It is important to understand the limitations of these boats, however, and realize that they will be slow in the water (compared to longer designs) ride deeper, and have poor handling in rough water or windy weather. Their initial stability does make them useful for anyone who pursues other activities while kayaking, such as fishing, photography, or bird watching (as long as conditions are not too rough). While even the economical and tough, roto-molded plastic nine foot boats are light enough for most people to lift and transport, composite materials such as Kevlar and carbon can make these boats weigh in at 25lbs or less, truly light enough for anyone to carry. Getting a composite boat can cost much more that the basic plastic models, however.

Several different options in recreational kayaks are available at Alpine Shop. Sit-on-top, recreational (with a cockpit and possibly bulkheads) and tandems are the most common models. Depending on your recreational kayaking needs, one of these will be likely be the perfect choice .

As mentioned earlier a sit-in recreational kayaks with cockpits do allow one the option of using a nylon sprayskirt that offers wave/sun/wind/rain protection that is not found on sit-on-tops, and usually allows one to sit lower in the kayak for even greater stability. The cockpit styles usually come with one bulkhead sealed, dry storage compartments, and sometimes two. Contrary to popular belief wearing a sprayskirt will not trap you in your kayak although practicing exiting the boat with on near shore builds confidence.  Basic kayak classes are very useful for getting started in the sport as well. For whatever reason the sit-in or cockpit style has been far more popular over the years in Missouri than the sit-on variety but both have their uses and proponents.

Some of the main points about Sit-on-tops are these:

-They are stable and self-draining. They are easy to climb on to from the water even unassisted. If they capsize you merely have to climb back on.

-They are an excellent platform for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, or fishing from.

-Since you are exposed to the elements you will get wet and have no sun protection other than your clothing and sunscreen. Conversely in the cooler months you have to dress more warmly with fleece, wetsuits, or drysuits more than a sit-in style of kayak. Your gear is more exposed and should be kept in waterproof bags bungied to the decks.

-Fishing rod holders, fish finders, and even livewells are commonly used on these types of kayaks.

Tandem kayaks, whether cockpit style or sit-on-top, are very popular so that small children can paddle with their parents, or your canine friends can come along as well. Many can be paddled solo if the other party elects not to come on occasion.

Sea or Touring Kayaks

Sea touring kayaks are performance boats for more advanced paddling. Coming in lengths of 14 to 18 feet, and chosen for your size, ability, and speed you wish to travel, a sea kayak can take you to hard to reach places you perhaps felt you could not get to on your own, such as that ideal campsite in the middle of the Mississippi River or on a distant arm of Lake of the Ozarks.

Sea touring kayaks are designed for long distances, multiday trips, rough water conditions, and advanced maneuvers and rescues. Sea kayaks are generally longer and somewhat narrower than recreational kayaks. They have two bulkheads, fore and aft, and at least two hatches. The cockpit area is enclosed, and the cockpit coaming allows for attaching a spray skirt. Inside the cockpit, thigh braces and adjustable foot pegs aid in both stability and maneuverability. Foot pegs are also used to adjust the rudder angle when the boat is so equipped (although rudders are only recommended for wide, windy ocean and lake crossings.)

A  good Sea kayak has deck lines (rope) running around the deck perimeter which are an important safety feature that allows a swimmer to grab on to when doing a deep water rescue..

Because they’re longer (and faster), sea kayaks are often heavier than other kayaks, especially in the economical plastic layups. You can counter this weight by choosing a boat constructed from lightweight material like fiberglass or a carbon-Kevlar mix.

Whitewater Kayaks

Whitewater kayaks are designed for all types of rivers—and paddlers. Don’t look at these if you’re planning a lazy float down a placid river, because these boats are designed for fast-moving whitewater conditions.

One thing that holds true for all whitewater boats is that they are shorter and more maneuverable than the other types of kayaks but there are also major and subtle differences in the various kayaks designed for true whitewater.

There are creek boats-around 8 or 9 feet long- for narrow runs and big drops. There are river runners that favor stability and tracking than go up to 10 feet and are great to run rivers without a lot of stopping and playing. Then there are playboats, with hard edges and flat hulls around 6 to 8 feet, designed for acrobatic moves. All come in varying lengths, widths, volumes, and hull designs. Each variable affects performance. No matter what the literature says, no one boat does it all perfectly.

However the new river runner and crossover styles of whitewater boats such as the Liquid Logic Remix 9 and 10 foot models, are truly all purpose. They have the rockered (banana shape) hull to handle serious whitewater, but when you drop the attached skeg on the Remixes, they paddle acceptably on lakes or slow rivers too.

-Rich Orr, Paddlesports Director

21st Annual Swap Begins Friday in 3 Locations for 1st Time

Are you ready for a whole lot of Swapping? Alpine Shop’s 21st Annual Spring Swap begins Friday, April 11 at their Kirkwood, Columbia and O’Fallon, Ill., locations.

What Is a Swap, You Ask?

Part pre-season spring sale, consignment sale and part winter clearance, Alpine Shop’s Swaps are one of our customers’ favorite events each and every year because they have a chance to make money off their old gear by selling it at this event.

It works like this: customers bring in their gear and clothing to sell on a consignment basis during the three and a half day event.

So What Kind of Deals Can People Find at the Swap?

Take a look at this preview video from the Swap tent in Kirkwood from this morning!

Swap starts, Friday, April 11 at all of our locations (except for Chesterfield). And new gear sales run from the morning of April 11 all the way through Saturday, April 19 (and even Easter Sunday, April 20, on-line at alpineshop.com)

See you soon!

Great Prizes Are Part of the Great Canoe & Kayak Event

Alpine Shop’s Great Canoe and Kayak Event begins Friday, February 21 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 23 at our Kirkwood and Columbia locations in Missouri, and at our O’Fallon, Ill., location, as well.

Besides being our biggest paddlesport sale of the year, along with clinics and a Saturday night Paddlers’ Party for everyone, you also have a chance to win part of over $1000 in prizes as part of the GCKE Sweepstakes.

Prizes include a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition Camera (valued at $399.99), a Yeti Coolers Roadie cooler ($249.99) and plenty more including paddle accessories, clothing and other prizes.

All you need to do to enter is click on the form below, fill out the entry form and drop it off at a Great Canoe & Kayak Event location by Sunday, March 2, 2014. Prizes will be drawn on Monday, March 6, 2014.

Good luck and we hope to see you at the Great Canoe & Kayak Event this weekend!

Entry form for 2014 GCKE Sweepstakes