Alpine Sun shines for 33 years
September 29, 2016
Alpine Sun Ski and Sport in Old Town is about to enter their 33rd season under the ownership of Frank and Gigi Dominguez. Frank and Gigi are not only long-time residents of Grand County, but also Colorado natives. They moved to the Fraser Valley in September of 1980 where Gigi worked for what is now the NSCD program and Frank managed several different ski shops. They met working at the blind skier program at the resort. Frank was hired to work for Alpine Sun when he moved here and then bought the shop in 1984. Frank and Gigi have managed the mom and pop ski shop and maintained a loyal customer base ever since. After a few different locations, Alpine Sun settled in Old Town right next to the resort in 2000—following Frank's long time dream of owning a ski shop at the base of a mountain. Frank and Gigi's son Jordan now manages the ski shop as they split their time between the shop and Adolf's Event Center & Tavern located in the same building.
Alpine Sun's location is unique compared to other ski shops in Grand County because of its proximity to the resort. Customers can rent snowshoes and walk right out to the back yard of the shop and be on the trails. Frank pointed out that with the new transportation system in Winter Park this allows people to snowshoe all the way into town, which is mostly downhill, and then catch the bus back if they are not feeling up to the climb it takes to return to Old Town.
Visitors and locals can park at Alpine Sun for free—if you rent gear with them.
This can be very helpful to visitors who are not familiar with Winter Park Resort.
The Dominguez family has seen the resort and the Fraser Valley go through many changes in their time here—from the evolution of what I-70 is today to the widening of Berthoud Pass and the addition of stop lights throughout town. Throughout the changes, Frank said the business has enjoyed slow growth and a strong clientele base. Gigi pointed out they have seen generations of families as return customers, and are now fitting skis to the grandchildren of customers they had early on.
When Jordan was born the family had to be escorted over Berthoud on the way to Denver because of the work being conducted. He said he does not even remember when he learned to ski, as he was only 18-months old when he started.
Jordan has been in the Fraser Valley his entire life with the exception of college where he attended CMC in Glenwood Springs, but returned to Grand County after, which his parents are very happy about.
The Fraser Valley and the resort have stayed near and dear to the Dominguez family for a long time.
"Winter Park, to us, has stayed pristine, quiet, and maintained a great community, even though it has grown into a large resort," Frank said.
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