- File: Luke Awtry
- Becky and Andy Kingston at Alpine Shop
The aroma of Waffle Cabin's Belgian sugar waffles wafts up the slopes at several Vermont ski resorts. Starting this spring, that aroma will also fill the new location of Alpine Shop, the South Burlington source for ski, snowboard and outdoor gear.
Alpine Shop has occupied its current four-story building since 1963. Roughly 5,000 families rent ski and snowboard equipment from the locally owned business each winter, Kingston told Seven Days. The new 20,000-square-foot, single-floor store will give the business room to streamline its gear rental and service operations and expand its equipment and clothing offerings. Rutland-based Waffle Cabin currently has locations at seven ski resorts in Vermont and more around the country. "Waffle Cabin is very much symbolic of the experience of Alpine skiing, so it made a lot of sense for us to bring that in," Kingston said of the franchise in the new Alpine Shop.
The store will also feature a bar serving local craft beer, Vermont wine and nonalcoholic beverages. Rather than a "destination bar," Kingston said, it will be "part of the vibe and experience" for shoppers. The store will host live music from local bands and is getting into golf, adding a TrackMan 4 golf-hitting-bay simulator and putting green.
"That's part of the entertainment aspect," Kingston said. "With retail today, you need to be able to entertain. It's part of why consumers bother to go to a store — they want the whole experience."