Sidecountry Sports recommended as new Snow Bowl retail vendor

Ski area may retain long time vendor to service rental skis
By Susan Mustapich | Apr 09, 2018
Source: File photo

CAMDEN — Snow Bowl General Manager Beth Ward is recommending a bid by Sidecountry Sports of Rockland to rent, sell and service mountain bikes, and to rent and sell junior and adult skis, snowboards, accessories and clothing.

Ward also recommends retaining long-time vendor Ragged Mountain Sports to service and maintain the ski area's rental equipment.

The bid recommendations go to the select board April 10.

The Snow Bowl issued two requests for proposals in January, one for the winter retail concessionaire and one for a three-season retail concessionaire. Ward reports in a memo that she is following the advice of the Four Seasons Advisory Committee, which voted to recommend Sidecountry Sports' bid proposals for winter and three-season retail, with the exception of servicing rental equipment.

If the select board accepts Sidecountry's bids, the bicycle, ski and snowboard business will have a year-round presence at the Snow Bowl. Sidecountry is proposing to pay the town-owned ski area $1,000 per month in rent, if it obtains both the winter and three-season concessions.

Ward proposes a break-even retail operation, using the $12,000 in annual rent from Sidecountry to pay Ragged Mountain Sport to service rental skis and snowboards during the ski season.

The owners of Sidecountry Sports are Andrew Daily and M. Brian Kelly. The business has offered bicycle, ski and snowboard sales, service, rentals and demos at its Rockland store since 2012, and its Belfast store since 2015.

Sidecountry's proposal details the company's experience working with the Snow Bowl. In the past two years, it has provided financial support and staff to create and improve existing mountain bike trails, and run ski and bicycle demonstrations. The business is an active supporter of group mountain bike rides in the summer, including a Monday night Youth Explorers program, bringing 40 to 60 young riders and families to the Snow Bowl each week, and a Wednesday night ride for adults, with as many as 40 riders. The business has also sponsored ski and fat bike demonstrations at the Snow Bowl.

Ragged Mountain Sports is owned by Charlie Pearson, who has operated the Snow Bowl's winter rental and retail operations since 1992. His relationship with the Snow Bowl began in 1970, when he worked at the Snow Bowl's rental shop, then owned by Haskell & Corthell, a clothing store in downtown Camden. In 1975, he began managing the rental shop, and in 1992, he purchased the business. In 2007, Pearson and Ray Sisk originated and implemented the "Lids for Kids" program, which raises funds and accepts donations to provide helmets for kids at no cost.

Ward proposes that Pearson work with Snow Bowl staff to train them so that "at some point we can completely fulfill our rental fleet needs in-house at the Snow Bowl." She wrote that Pearson is committed to working in partnership with the the Snow Bowl.

Spring, Summer, Fall concession

Three-season mountain bike retail and rental is new to the Snow Bowl. It has been recommended by the Four Season Committee, which was appointed in 2016, as a means of bringing in revenue to bolster the coastal ski area.

Sidecountry proposes a mid-May to mid-November operation, selling adult and junior bicycles, a limited line of Camden Snow Bowl branded clothing, basic riding clothing, accessories including hats, cycling gloves, sunblock, goggles and glasses, lights, tires and tubes and maintenance supplies.

Three-season bicycle rental, repairs and tune-ups are also planned. The company will offer demonstration bikes free of charge for Monday night youth rides, Wednesday beginner rides and during special events arranged by the Snow Bowl.

Comments (6)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | Apr 08, 2018 14:06

Jim and Michelle: I do not ski or smowboard or mountain bike. Why would it matter whether I walked into Sidecountry Sports? My comments were in no way connected to or finding fault with Sidecountry. What are you defending they for or why are you finding fault, which I could care less of, with my comments? Enjoy your sports, please. You are picking on the wrong subject matter. Please find a new axe to grind or come on back.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Apr 08, 2018 14:01

Don, my interest in the dump is how we, the taxpayers of Rockland got screwed by the incompetence and selling out of our resource. I can only assume you do not live in Rockland, so what is my infatuation to ya?

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Apr 07, 2018 15:08

And to think it all started with a rope tow and picnic tables in the old burned down lodge. We parents after church put up a picnic basket and head up the Snow Bowl to watch the kids ski. No fees just neighbors sharing hot cocoa and cheering the youngster on- oh, and don't forget the fun of ice skating.

Posted by: Don Dickinson | Apr 07, 2018 14:29

What is your infatuation with the dump?

Posted by: Jim Gamage | Apr 07, 2018 10:37

Dale, do you ski or snowboard or mountain bike?  Have you ever walked into Sidecounrty Sports?  Andrew and his team are a class act.  They know their stuff and offer an amazing line of equipment and services.  We should feel lucky to have this opportunity in our community.  Good luck with your proposal Sidecountry.   -Michelle Gamage

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Apr 06, 2018 19:31

Can those same folks convince Rockland to make Mt. Demo into a four season enterprise: Belly flopping in Spring, Mud Runs in the Fall, Skiing in the Winter with snow boarding included, and in the summer perhaps a diving board could be added on the southern end to allow for diving into the other quarries. This would greatly enhance the financial picture and allow for using the array of bulldozers and tractors and extra help to provide the traditional ski tow services to the top and to be used to dig out any participants who happen to fall into a quick sand or slurry hole and they could also provide fire protection for when the whole damn things blows up. Hooray for the brains that put Mt. Demo together. Forward thinking only in our tax bill.

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