Firstly, thanks to all of you for supporting Lifesport in Calgary for the past thirty years or so. Thanks to the entire ski community, the parents, the volunteers, the families, juniors, seniors, racers, tourers, clubs, teams, coaches, instructors, employees, and friends. Thanks also to the ski industry, and to my competitors, some truly good people. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to meet and to get to know so many of you.
As many of you know, I have come to a point now where I think it’s time to move on and to find more time to ski and to ride again. To ‘retire’ in some fashion. When a land developer came to me some time ago, with a plan to redevelop the entire street where my store is, I agreed to what they had planned. It meant that I had to vacate the Kensington location in April this year and close the store.
Now, apparently in part because of the current economic situation locally, the developer needs more time for funding and for planning their project. They have asked me for an extension on the timeline. I expect that I will come to an arrangement with them for this extension, though it is not yet final.
I expect that Lifesport will be in its current location well into 2017. Getting ready for spring will be quite a scramble now. I have had interest from a few different groups that want to take over at Lifesport and run it, giving me time to get out and relax a bit. Many people have expressed support for the shop to continue and I sure appreciate hearing that. This time extension could help me find a suitable successor.
I’ll post any important developments as I know them here on Skier Bob, Alberta’s best source for nordic ski info.
My wife and I visited Lifesport for the first time this year, primarily for the sale which we both took advantage of. Our visit quickly intrigued us due to the church setting with at least one pew, the wood floors,the very sedentary dogs, some whom serve as pleasant store greeters but who are also very aware to retreat under the clothes racks should things get too stressful. The very knowledgeable staff was a boon although I had an incident with one of the sales girls who sized me with a softer camber then what I thought I should have. One of the salesmen had just fitted my wife with a ski that I felt was perhaps a little challenging for her. What I did not realize was that my wife’s condition compared to myself (my hips at the time were quite stiff and sore and I had difficulty walking) presented a stronger image to the sales person whereas I presented a weaker image and the young lady had diagnosed accordingly. Anyway I did buy the skis that I wanted and eventually I will be able to find out who was right! As we revisited the store over a couple of months, we began to regret that the store would be closing. News that it will be open until 2017 and the further hope that a buyer may be found for the store is good news. What would also be nice is if the delayed developer could find someway of incorporating the old church into his project!
Have to say that I’ve always like coming into your store and perused all the gear, dodged the dogs (or they’ve kept my kids occupied), and bought a fair bit of stuff there…. and look forward to buying more. So, although your retirement may be deferred a bit, I am sure you’ve felt and appreciated the outpouring of support the last few months since letting the ski-family know.
That said, I’m still hoping to pop by within the next week to take advantage of the continued ski deals?? (formerly known as Retirement Sale, now Winter Wind-up Sale).
And so, slowly we come to the end of an era in Calgary. Two generations of our family have relied on Norm, and Lifesport for all of our skiing gear. We will bid a fond farewell to creaky wooden floors, friendly dogs, amiable service, cool staff, and price discounts that Norm would always give at the last minute. All the best in the future to Norm, Val and Noah.