In a presentation in Salt Lake City, Utah, Alpine Shop – a St. Louis-based independent outdoor recreation retailer – received the 2012 SNEWS/Backpacker Magazine National Retailer of the Year Award for Growth of Outdoor Sports. This award goes to the business that performed the best job in the nation at introducing people to the world of outdoor sports during the 2011 calendar year.
“I didn’t get into this business to get rich. And let me tell you, I didn’t,” joked Alpine Shop owner Russell Hollenbeck upon receiving the award. “Getting people outdoors is why we do this. It’s behind everything we do.”
During the 2011 calendar year, Alpine Shop, long known for its emphasis on empowering customers to get outdoors, enrolled nearly 4000 registrations for 275 educational, experiential or entertainment programs designed to teach or showcase 13 different outdoor disciplines including paddling, cycling, wilderness first aid and backpacking to name just a few.
Alpine Shop’s vision as a company is to see “Generations Transformed Through Discovery Outdoors.” Those five words have driven the retailer to truly dedicate itself over the past 37 years to the “Growth of Outdoor Sports” in St. Louis and the Midwest because of the physical, emotional and spiritual changes that the outdoors can bring to every individual.
“We believe that experiencing the outdoors changes people for the better,” said Lisa Hollenbeck, co-owner of Alpine Shop. “It brings people a better understanding of themselves and what they can accomplish. It’s more than that, though. Look at the races this past year. The outdoors also give everyone a chance to have a lot of fun. ”
The “races” refers to Alpine Shop’s most noticeable effort of the past year in the continued development of the Off-Road Racing League. Consisting of a total of five mountain bike races and four trail runs held at Castlewood State Park in St. Louis, the League brought in a total of nearly 1200 registrations – including over 200 newcomers and kids.