Mazama outdoors retailer needs additional space, more-visible location
Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies will break ground early next month on an expansion project which is expected to give the Mazama outdoors store approximately 500 more square feet of retail space, a more-prominent location and a consolidated main floor.
The new building is expected to open some time next spring, and will be located on Lost River Road between the Mazama Store — whose owners Rick and Missy LeDuc will also own the Goat’s Beard structure — and the Methow Valley Ski School. The current store will remain open in the meantime.
The primary driving force behind the expansion is a lack of space. Recent sales growth made the approximately 1,500-square-feet of retail space insufficient for the volume of business that the store was experiencing.
“The business is doing really well,” said manager CB Thomas. “We feel like we’re ready to have an expansion.”
Since 2011, when the store opened at its current location, Goat’s Beard has consistently turned a profit. Thomas largely credits that both to the business’ ability to cater to an underserved population of climbers and backcountry skiers in the valley, and to its proximity to the Mazama Store.
“We absolutely feed off of the leftovers from the Mazama Store,” Thomas joked.
While Goat’s Beard has benefited from its proximity to the Mazama Store, its location behind the main structure has also posed a significant challenge.
“This building hides behind the courtyard of the Mazama Store,” said Thomas. Goat’s Beard has attempted to attract customers with signs and flashing lights, but has still been handicapped by its location.
The new structure will be located on a much more prominent plot, directly on Lost River Road next to the Mazama store.
The current multi–level retail space was additionally cited as a reason for a new structure.
“Stuff in the basement just doesn’t sell,” said Thomas, noting that products on the main floor sell at almost triple the rate of those in the basement. “The basement is just really inconvenient.”
The new store will host 2,000 square feet of retail space on one ground-level floor, allowing both more space for products, and an improved ability for employees to interact with customers.
As for the current building, its future is unknown. The LeDucs have considered a pub and a coffee shop to occupy the former cabin, but haven’t arrived at a decision.
In the past, the building has hosted everything from a fly fishing company called “Mazama Troutfitters,” to a restaurant called “The Goat,” to a full-time home. “It had all of these different lives,” said Thomas, reflecting on the building’s history.
“If someone has an idea [for the structure’s future], propose it,” said Thomas, “they [the owners] would be open to suggestions.”