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New Lease of Life for Alpine Sports

Media Release
November 13 2006

New Lease of Life for Alpine Sports

Queenstown specialist store Alpine Sports has been given a new lease of life with new owners, a new home and a new look.

Alpine Sports was purchased by Queenstown businessmen Kris Vermeir and Paul Vaitkus of Browns Ski Shop in 2005, and will open every summer in retail space traditionally catering to Browns’ winter ski customers.

Alpine Sports recently opened for the 2006/2007 summer season and specialises in hiking and tramping products.

The move means the Shotover Street premise will now operate year-round with short transition time during the autumn and spring shoulder seasons.

Mr Vermeir said he was excited to bring Alpine Sports back to Queenstown after a short break, offering a specialised trekking, hiking, and tramping product to locals and visitors.

“At Browns we have 26 years’ experience in retailing, so this is the perfect extension of our business,” he said.

“We’ve handpicked some fantastic, enthusiastic staff who really know what they’re talking about. They have a passion for our local and regional walking tracks and they’re out there doing it.”

Customers will be able to buy the latest gear for everything from the shortest walk to longer tramps, as well as take advantage of invaluable staff tips, advice and local knowledge about tracks and the sport of tramping. An extensive range of rental equipment is also available, from boots and crampons to pots and pans.

Mr Vermeir said DoC figures on the numbers of people who walked tracks in the area showed there was a need for a specialised rental and equipment service.

The Queenstown and Glenorchy DoC centres alone cater for up to 130,000 people each summer, looking to do everything from day walks to back country tracks or one of the Great Walks. Many arrive without necessary equipment and either rent or buy in the area.

“The Alpine Sports store will be a warm and welcoming environment where people can immerse themselves in maps of walking tracks, and share ideas and stories from recent journeys into the hills,” said Mr Vermeir.

As part of its commitment to the local environment, Alpine Sports will also organise volunteer sessions to clean up tracks.

Browns also owns Vertigo Bikes which has moved into the Browns rental store on Brecon Street.

ENDS

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