Dekdebrun Retiring

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Dekdebrun Retiring
Greg Dekdebrun to Take on Advisor Roll in the Interim
Story and Photo By John Thomas
Staff Writer

 

   “I want to set the record straight; the store is not closing.” That was the first thing Greg Dekdebrun said when we talked on Tuesday. But, he did admit the large signs festooning the outside of the store saying, “retirement sale” have caused a bit of confusion. He went on to say he has put the store up for sale but emphasized it will stay in operation. Mr. Dekdebrun said he is in negotiations with multiple potential buyers. Part of those negotiations include Dekdebrun staying on part time to act as an advisor to the new owners. The reason for the sale is by reducing stock; he can also reduce the price of the store.   And, as is normal for ski store operations, they must make room for the new inventory which has already been ordered. He says he wants to see the level of customer service they have provided continue with the new owners. “I want to bring someone in here and make sure they are successful.”

   Dekdebrun’s was first opened by his father in Buffalo in 1946. The Ellicottville store was opened in 1961, and in 1986 Greg bought his father out. Over the years, he has seen many changes, both in the town and in the sport. “Ellicottville has changed,” he says, noting that when he arrived the town was primarily known for skiing. He claims to be the first person to have dubbed Ellicottville the “Aspen of the East.” “We have two fabulous ski areas that have grown over time,” he tells me. Snowboarding brought a new energy to the sport. “It’s another way to slide down a hill,” he says, and adds, “it brought younger people into the sport.” The deep sidecut to the snowboards lead to an evolution of sidecut skis. Those new skis made the sport easier to learn. Dekdebrun says it used to take several days of lessons to have beginners coming down the slopes. “Now people are coming down the hill in one day.”

Time has evolved to the point where selling the store is the best alternative. Dekdebrun says the store has been able to create many loyal customers and wants to be sure they find the same level of service with the new owners. Dekdebrun says he will want the purchasers to “continue the same standards and principals I’ve used over the years.” When thinking of the gratitude many of his longtime customers have expressed to him, he says, “It’s made me appreciate what we’ve accomplished over the years, and I want to see that continue.”

Greg Dekdebrun in the Curly’s Snowboard section
of Dekdebrun’s.