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Ski shops worry about slow supply chain

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:17 PM EST
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KILLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It was a busy opening weekend at Killington Mountain, including for winter gear sellers. But some area ski shops are worried that some of the gear they need to stock might get snarled in the shipping slowdown we’re seeing across the country.

“We had a lot of business in the hard goods area,” said Mary Fiore, the general manager of Northern Ski Works.

Fiore says in her store, people are buying skis, boots and other equipment. Not as much clothing, but it is a weather-driven market and it hasn’t been that cold yet.

“I can only see an uptake. Every weekend seems to get a little bit busier,” Fiore said.

She says they are running into some issues with brands getting products shipped to them.

“Everything is coming out of China, they’re sitting off the coast of LA. So it’s not their fault, but they are doing the best they can,” Fiore said.

Down the mountain at Darkside Snowboards, Tucker Zink says weekend business beat out last year and is similar to previous years, with people buying up his stock.

“Everything! Snowboards, boots, bindings, helmets, goggles, clothing,” Zink said.

But just like Northern Ski Works, they are also facing supply chain issues.

The store looks like it’s pretty well stocked, but Zink says it is actually only about 60% of what they would normally have on the floor.

“I think a lot of it will be here before Thanksgiving, some of it shortly after. And there is even some stuff that we probably won’t see until next year,” Zink said.

Even farther down the mountain is Surefoot.

“All of the years combined, this is one of the best starts we have had in a long time,” said Mark Bragg of Surefoot.

Bragg says because there were so many restrictions last year, people are excited to get back out on the mountain.

“Those who didn’t get a ski boot or skis last year are definitely getting them this year,” Bragg said.

As for their supply chain: “We have a warehouse in Park City that somehow or another, we got our things a lot sooner than most and we are in pretty good supply right now,” Bragg said.

As for the rest, they’ll be waiting for boxes of inventory.

“Hopefully, eventually we’ll get product before Christmas. That is important,” Fiore said.

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