Couple closing outdoors shop to strike out on new adventures

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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) For the last 42 years, Peter Kavouksorian has been in his fun zone, installing bindings and selling outdoor gear at Mountain Travelers Hike & Ski Shop in Rutland.

Peter and JoAnn Kavouksorian

He met his future wife, JoAnn, on the slopes of Killington. She was a downhill instructor.

"I noticed her a couple of times while I was up teaching cross-country and ah, I actually picked her up hitchhiking," Peter said. "That was the first Telemark festival of the Northeast, probably 1978."

The couple started the business when they were in their 20s. It was a time of the back to nature movement. Cross-Country was hitting its stride.

"Early '70s cross-country is being introduced into this country and it was an everyman sport," Peter said.

The business took off selling everything from rock climbing gear to kayaks. At its peak, they had two stores and eight employees.

The couple worked hard and played hard, rarely taking more than a day off from the business. But now they say it time to close shop.

"Oh, boy. It's really bittersweet, you know, we love what we do all this time," JoAnn said.

The couple, who are now in their 60s, are ready to retire.

"We love it and we are sad to see it go, but at the same time we are looking forward in taking adventures on our own," JoAnn said.

For the last month and a half, they had kind of a soft closing, welcoming old friends back to reminisce. This Saturday will be there last day open.

Reporter Joe Carroll: JoAnn, what are you going to miss the most?
JoAnn Kavouksorian: Oh, boy, I think the customers. Customers coming in and all the stories that they tell and all the places they've been.

Now, it's their turn to be travelers.