If you’ve ever shopped for ski boots, you know the process is a delicate balance between finding a pair that isn’t too big for your feet and one that doesn’t make you want to cut your feet off. Saratoga’s Alpine Sport Shop is the only place in town to find that perfect pair of bearable boots, but the shop, which is celebrating its 80th year in business in 2021, sells something besides traditional ski and snowboard gear: fun.
“In the early ’90s we started taking people around the world to ski,” says Cathy Hay, who inherited the shop from her parents and now runs it with her husband, Jack. “We feel like we’re selling ‘fun.’ To have that experience to share with your customers, and then to see them make friends with customers they didn’t know—it’s a sweet thing.”
Since 1994, the Alpine Sport Shop has led ski trips everywhere from Jackson Hole, WY, to Chamonix, France, and the Hays see no end to the fun in the near future. “We like being a small specialty brick-and-mortar shop,” she says. “We’re not looking to slay more dragons—we just want to do a good job with what we do.”