Ski Haus expanding with second store

— Construction is under way on a new Ski Haus sporting goods store at the southeast corner of U.S. 40 and Pine Grove Road. But owner Rod Schrage has more in mind than just a new home for his store.

"It's still kind of a dream," Schrage said. "There's nothing you can really touch. But they started rolling up walls this week. Everyone in the store is excited. But it's still going to be plain old Ski Haus. We aren't going to start wearing ties."

Schrage currently operates a sporting goods store, gas station/convenience store and liquor store, all out of one building across Pine Grove Road from the new construction site.

Once the new sporting goods store opens, perhaps by July, Schrage plans to change the configuration of his other businesses. Fish Creek Liquor would move into the first floor of the current sporting goods store. The convenience store associated with the Conoco gas station would expand into the current liquor store to offer some form of high-quality deli food. Schrage says he envisions something similar to what is offered by two other local businesses that he admires: Back Country Provisions and Market on the Mountain.

Completion of the new store would allow Schrage to house his "off-season" sporting goods in the second level of the old store.

For example, in winters, he would continue to operate a full-service bike shop and sell camping goods and summer sale goods. When the calendar shifts to summer, used demo ski equipment would be offered upstairs in the old shop.

One big difference everyone at Ski Haus is looking forward to is having the room to design uncluttered in-store displays at the new location.

"The key for us is it's going to be nice to have the room to use our creativity," Schrage said.

The new building was designed by architects Eric Smith Associates. The general contractor is TCD.

The building is being built in the shape of a square cross with roof gables at all four points and a cupola in the center of the cross.

The lower garden level will be reserved for hard goods with soft goods on the main level and plenty of room for offices on a mezzanine level.

The new Ski Haus won't be fancy, just bigger, Schrage said.

"We just need a big old barn," he said.

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