Forget about the rollercoaster weather we experienced throughout February … Winter is still very much alive and well here in Western New York, which is evident by the enthusiastic crowds gracing the slopes of Holiday Valley, HoliMont, and the downtown village streets. Several iconic specialty retailers are happy to call Ellicottville home, including Dekdebruns Snow Sports, which has been a staple of the main drag since opening its doors in the basement of the Ellicottville Inn in 1961. We recently caught up with the father/daughter team of Greg and Kylie Dekdebrun (pictured at left), fresh off of a successful Presidents Week of retail, to pick their brains on the latest and greatest in product, and to ask about the rumors of Greg’s retirement …
One of the goals for every specialty retailer, is to of course cultivate and care for their loyal customer base, but to also hand pick proprietary brands and products that set them apart from the rest. Dekdebruns is certainly no different, which is why they’re proud to be a day one dealer for APEX Boots. In fact, they’re now entering their 11th season selling these sought-after boots, which blend comfort and performance unlike any other ski boot manufacturer on the market. Greg, long known for his prowess in bootfitting, explained to us that he finds enormous value in the comfort, warmth, convenience, and performance in the highly customizable product. Apparently Greg isn’t the only one who thinks so, as America’s Best Bootfitters has awarded the brand with their “Fitter’s Favorite” and “Innovator” badges for their XP model boot. Beginning next fall, APEX has condensed their offerings, giving their customers a choice of the XP or HP, in both men’s and women’s models, which range in price from $649-$899 and Dekdebruns will have each in stock. Greg encourages anyone interested in learning more about this boot system to come try a pair on and see for themselves, how comfortable skiing really can be.
In keeping with brands unique to Dekdebruns, Kylie revealed her excitement for one of their favorite outerwear brands, Parajumpers. Comparable to Canada Goose, this fashion forward Italian brand expertly curates their outdoor gear for adventures of all varieties. Modeled after the 10th Mountain Division, Parajumpers offers both male and female customers the perfect blend of warmth, comfort and fashion. Kylie went on to spotlight one of her favorite pieces in the line, the Long Bear (pictured at left, on Dekdebruns soft goods manager, Ciara Peters.) This slim fitting, thigh length coat features 680 fill down insulation (so it’s WARM!), removable hood and accent fur, and the shell fabric has undergone a special treatment that protects it from dirt and rain … this coat is tough to keep in stock!
Knuckle draggers (snowboarders) aren’t left out of the mix at Dekdebruns Snow Sports, as their board department is locked and loaded with some of the best brands on the market today. Currently, they’ve got exclusive distribution for Vermont’s own Rome Snowboards, and a repeated industry award winner in Capita Super Corporation. Shop manager, Jay Mowrey, shed some light on what’s to come in the future at Dekdebruns, excitedly detailing the re-introduction of one of their most popular brands again, Nidecker Snowboards. Specifically, they’ll be bringing one of the highest performance boards on the market, the Ultralight. This revolutionary board can simply be described as a tour-de-force of technology, featuring carbon fiber, kevlar, a welded wooden core, and high speed 9000 base - performance many brands can only dream of. In addition to Nidecker, Dekdebruns will also be a repeat carrier of Jones Snowboards, an environmentally and socially conscious brand, the brainchild of professional big mountain legend Jeremy Jones. Mowrey encourages anyone to stop in and check out their remaining selection for this season, and to ask about what’s on order for next year. Either of these brands is a worthy investment and will ensure you get the most out of your ride, regardless of ability.
With the end of ski season on the distant horizon, thoughts at Dekdebruns certainly turn to “what’s next” … aka the “off-season.” (However, we all know there is no off-season in EVL.) Kylie was excited to announce that the shop will re-open for the summer months (their 2nd year in a row), beginning in mid-May. On tap? A well-stocked offering of summer lifestyle clothing ranging from swimwear to golf to casual attire for men, women and children. Looking to make a stylish splash at the Holiday Valley pool complex? Board shorts and swimwear from O’Neill and Billabong will be available, along with some of the best looking sunglasses around from Smith Optics and Vuarnet.
Perhaps no one is looking more forward to the end of the winter season here in Ellicottville than Greg Dekdebrun himself, who has announced he’ll be retiring from the shop, which has been his second home since its opening in 1961 by his father, Al. From 1986 forward, Greg and his wife Patti have owned and operated the shop, but after a lifetime of specialty retail, Greg thinks it’s time to kick his feet up (a little bit, anyhow). When asked what he planned to do with all his impending free time, he replied, “When the snow comes again, I’m going to do that thing called skiing.”
Ah yes. Anyone in the ski retail industry knows … finding time to get on the hill is very few and far between. Greg, you’ve definitely earned it!
One message Greg wanted to convey to his customers, is that Dekdebruns Snow Sports isn’t closing its doors. It will continue to remain a staple in the business district of Ellicottville. If anything, it’s a win-win for everyone, as currently there’s a storewide celebration “retirement sale” going on with major discounts on everything!
To find out more about the aforementioned brands, or to bring Greg a corny “over-the-hill” retirement card, pop on in to the shop at 18 Washington Street, or give them a shout at 716-699-2754. You can also check out their website, dekdebruns.com, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @dekdebruns for up-to-date news and happenings. We here at SNOWED-IN wish Greg well in his attempts at retirement, and we thank him for his countless contributions to the winter sports community here in Ellicottville! Cheers!