What: Aspect Board Shop
What it does: Sells skis, snowboards, skateboards and longboards; rents skis, snowboards and wakeboards
Pictured: Katie Patterson, owner
Where: 1009 NW Galveston Ave., Bend
Employees: One full-time, with two more coming aboard soon and a third by year’s end
Change is underfoot at Aspect Board Shop on Northwest Galveston Avenue in Bend.
Owner Katie Patterson is in the midst of adding a beer garden and tap room to the front of the ski-snowboard-skateboard shop she’s owned for nearly six years.
“Mostly, we’re just reconfiguring and updating,” Patterson said Monday. “The roof, the siding, all these things that had needed to be done, they’re happening at the same time.
The most obvious changes are the addition of a 200-square-foot tap room with a roll-up service window opening onto a 440-square-foot patio on new pavers. Gas lines underneath the patio will permit the addition of fire pits to keep the outdoor experience going in winter, après ski. The tap room will be rigged for 12 taps, nine dedicated to local beers, one for cider, one for kombucha and one for Busch Light.
“We are, fingers crossed, hoping to be pouring beers by Aug. 1,” Patterson said.
Aspect survived the economic downturn by sticking to one principle: “Luck,” she said. Her description of the experience takes into account something more. She said she bought the place, which she’d managed for several years, in November 2008.
Patterson bought the shop near the bottom of the real estate market. Then the time came two months later to buy stock for the next season. “We bought modestly that first year and we’ve been able to build from there,” she said.
Part of Patterson’s business model rests on the shop being a destination for skateboarders and longboarders. Longboards, she explained, are for traveling farther and faster than a skateboard, which performs better for riders at skate parks. Longboards came on the scene about 10 years ago, and while their popularity has plateaued, they still have a following.
“There are 6-year-olds that want to start longboarding, and then there’s 50-year-olds that want to start longboarding,” Patterson said. “We’re pretty involved in the skateboard community. We have a skate team, and we have an annual skate contest that we put on.”
Keeping the shop stocked with the right amount of the latest gear is one challenge of running a ski-and-snowboard shop, and the selections must be made a year in advance. The 2013-14 season started late and ended with lots of spring snow, but by then Patterson had most snow gear on sale.
“You never have any idea how the current winter is going to end up, much less what kind of winter you’re going to have the next winter,” she said. “And that’s one of the reasons the beer stuff seemed appealing.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7815, email@example.com
Q: What’s the idea behind the tap room and patio addition?
A: There’s just never going to be too much outdoor seating in Bend. We have this wonderful street frontage; Galveston is just so vibrant right now and there’s always people walking and biking and coming on and off the river. … It just made sense.
Q: What will happen with the patio in winter?
A: Because rentals are a big part of our business in the winter, we hope to get some of those people to come back at the end of the day, drop off their rentals, have a beer. And we’re also going to be able to expand our shop work a little bit. We’ve always offered tunes and waxes but … we hope to do some packages, tune your skis and a beer, hot wax your snowboard and a beer.