In May 2011, locals Patrick and Liz Fannon opened up Switchback Sports in Park City with the goal of helping families afford recreational sports. If you’re a parent who takes your kid skiing, biking, camping, etc., then you know the drill. Every year, you need to buy a whole new set of gear to fit your child’s new size and ability. Even with just one kid and one sport, these purchases add up quickly. Imagine the cost of outfitting multiple children for several different sports!
That’s where used gear comes in. The Fannons’ dream is to keep locally beloved sports like biking and skiing from being prohibitively expensive. “We have so many families that come back year after year, and even, for that matter, season after season,” says Ryan Burns, general manager at Switchback Sports. Best of all, families can sell back the gently used equipment that no longer fits their kids’ needs. Then they can put the consignment revenue they earn toward new gear purchases.
In addition to serving as a consignment shop, Switchback also sells new gear; tunes, waxes, and mounts skis; and rents out bikes in the summer. Switchback also partners with several local youth groups. This January, the shop is collaborating with the Youth Sports Alliance (YSA) to collect over 100 pairs of skis and snowboards to donate to under-privileged children.
As the only consignment shop for outdoor gear in Park City and the Wasatch Back, Switchback Sports has clearly filled an important local niche. After six years of operation, Switchback has outgrown its current space and is planning to relocate in the summer of 2018.
The Switchback team is grateful for its loyal base of local and second homeowner customers for helping them fulfill their mission of making skiing, biking, and other sports financially accessible. “Without all of you guys, this shop couldn’t be a reality,” says Ryan. “So thank you from the bottom of all our hearts.”