Nominate your favorite #CoolShop for an award

It's tough to be a retailer. That's why we're recognizing some that shine.
Cool shop collage

Top: Black Creek Outfitters. Bottom, from left to right: KAMP, Feral Mountain Co., and 3 Rivers Outdoor Co.

Since the inception of our #CoolShops column in March 2017, SNEWS has sought out innovative, authentic, and standout specialty outdoor stores across the country. As of this month, we’ve featured nearly 50 retailers, each with something to share on doing retail right. Every day, we're impressed by their efforts to be nimble and quick.

That's why specialty shops deserve celebrating. Starting this month, you can nominate shops that are raising the retail bar and essentially putting on a clinic—every day—on how to do customer service right.

We'll choose one #CoolShop per month to spotlight, and by the end of the year, we'll have 12 finalists to announce for a final round of crowdsourced voting. The ultimate winner will receive massive bragging rights, a beautiful banner custom designed by artist Latasha Dunston, $500 to throw a staff appreciation party, and the chance to be an expert guest on Channel Mastery podcast.

Nominate your favorite shop here:


Sleeping bags, Topo Designs bags, and shirts on display in Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co. in Brooklyn, New York.

Choose the winner of the #CoolShop Awards

In 2019, we shone the spotlight on 12 standout specialty outdoor stores across the country in our #CoolShops column. From matching prices online to offering free drinking water to preserving their town's history, these shops are seriously killing it at retail. And through our more

exterior shot of GearHeads at night. Blue and red neon sign says GearHeads Free Filtered Water, Hike, Bike, Camp, Climb

Podcast: A very special gear shop

Aside form world-class mountain biking trails and spectacular scenery, Moab, Utah, has another gem: GearHeads Outdoor Store. Founded 22 years ago by Doug and Greg Kennedy, and now run by younger brother Steve, this quirky shop has become a Moab institution thanks to its vast more

Crazy Mountain Outdoor Company

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In recognition of National Small Business Week, we want to acknowledge some of the independent specialty #CoolShops working hard to keep the outdoor industry ticking. From coast to coast, here are five of our favorites from each region in the U.S. Did you see our Instagram series more

Powder7 staff shot

Contest: Design a logo for Colorado #CoolShop Powder7

Having just turned 10 years old, ski shop and online retailer Powder7 is ready for a logo makeover. The Golden, Colorado, shop launched the “Powder7 to the People” contest earlier this month with a heady grand prize: free skis and bindings every year for seven years. “For more


Why Gear Coop in Costa Mesa, California is ahead of its time

So you want to open an outdoor retailer, but you’re bedridden with a broken back. Shopping for real estate, hauling boxes of product, and merchandising a show floor is a no-go for a while. Where can you start? Well, there is one retail space that’s already set up: more

Crazy Mountain #CoolShop

#CoolShop | Crazy Mountain Outdoor Company in Bozeman, Montana

Once Sam Valone turned 13, he could expect to be woken up at least one morning every summer to tag shipments of Patagonia merchandise for the North Carolina Great Outdoor Provision Co., founded by his father and two others in 1972. “I would spend the whole day down in the more

TRAX Outdoor Center in Fairbanks, Alaska

Pick up your skis, then calm your mind at this #CoolShop

Summers are shorter in Alaska, but that just means residents pack in the action while they can, said TRAX Outdoor Center Owner Mike Hajdukovich. “As soon as the snow starts melting, we play all day,” Hajdukovich said. “We go crazy. It’s summertime. It’s time to play. Alaskans more

Adventure Bound Bitcoin #CoolShop

Will Bitcoin take off among outdoor retailers?

Adventure Bound onthefly Owner John Rounds became the first specialty shop in Ellicotteville, New York, and the first outdoor retailer SNEWS has heard of so far to embrace cryptocurrency as a means of staying alive in the competitive market. “Specialty retail is not easy, and in more

The bike department at The Gear Fix in Bend Oregon

#CoolShop | The Gear Fix in Bend, Oregon

It's a regular Sunday morning in Bend, Oregon's old Box Factory building: pairs eat sweet and savory treats at Foxtail Bakeshop & Kitchen, men sit still as hairdressers trim around their ears at West Side Barber Shop, and groups of people sift through consignment backpacks, kayak more