KSL Capital terminates iconic ski shop. Squaw Valley



The Empire Strikes Again – KSL Capital terminates iconic ski shop - Squaw Valley Sports Shop


(Unofficial Networks received this write up by email from one Thomas Como. We felt it was worth posting)

The Empire Strikes Again – KSL terminates iconic ski shop.

By: Thomas Como 

Squaw Valley Sports Shop

With Squaw Valley’s Renaissance in full swing, the Empire strikes again. This past week in a heartless and bottom line move, one of Squaw Valley’s oldest family owned businesses received word that it is getting the boot.

Squaw Valley, under the management and ownership of KSL has made yet another strike against the legacy and fabled history of our nearly dead “ski town.” After thirty-five years, YES 35 YEARS of being in business, Squaw Valley Sport Shop is being forced out of the valley.

The Squaw Valley Sport Shop is a family owned and operated business that has been in operation at the base of the Squaw Valley Ski Resort for 35 years. It was there before the village, it was probably there before you, and it is one of the last arteries to be severed from the now flaccid heart of Squaw Valley.

I attempted to contact the Willard family this past Monday to discuss the events leading up to Squaw Valley’s decision to not renew their lease.  Respectfully, they have been reluctant to divulge any significant details.

Simply put here are the details:

Squaw Valley Sport Shop is an icon not only within Squaw but the skiing community as a whole. You will be hard pressed to name a single pro who has come out of Squaw that hasn’t purchased, been supported, or frequented this establishment. It’s the same place that kids who are spending their money there now, are doing so because their parents did the same some years ago.

It’s just another inevitable “Big Business” move that will happen time and time again during the “Renaissance” of Squaw Valley. After the shops that currently employ expert and passionate individuals are replaced by shops employing non-English speaking foreign exchange students who know nothing but to stuff your gear in a machine and press the “verde” button, what is left? After the only “ski” shops left standing are commercial empires touting the names of Oakley, The North Face, Columbia, and Marmot. Then what? By that time Squaw and Alpine are accessible through the development of White Wolf, KSL will sell in what will be chronicled as the sale of the century. We (locals) will be left wading through the monotony of a corporate, non-sustainable and soulless town.

Squaw Valley will respond to this latest blunder in their hip and up to date methods of Facebook and social media, attempting to sugar coat this with some B.S. about how it was a “tough decision,” and we are “sad to see ‘em go.” Don’t buy it! Shenanigans!

To the Willard family, my heart goes out. Your shop and its legacy will be missed and remembered by us who have grown up in it. To you the reader: Go in and buy as much gear, schwag, stickers, Go Pros, skis, boots, pants, boots, or whatever. Support your local businesses in the Valley while we still have them. After all, you’ll be able to look back and say, “I remember when there use to be a really cool ski shop here. I bought something there once. Now it’s just this lame restaurant trying to sell me a $52 burger and a $7 pint.” 

If you have a strong opinion about something happening within the ski world (positive or negative) that you would like to share with Unofficial please email it to UnofficialNetworks@gmail.com


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  • Long time local

    The Willard’s came in in the mid 70s only to kick out a even longer running ski shop which was at squaw pre- olympics. People were saying the same thing all of you are saying…. Live by the sword die by the sword.

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