Biz Beat: Wahoo! Ski shop owner is ready for retirement |

Biz Beat: Wahoo! Ski shop owner is ready for retirement

After 29 years of business at Lake Tahoe, House of Ski owner Curtis Barnes is retiring.

The store is for sale, and Barnes said he’s looking for a buyer to continue operating the business. He said he doesn’t know how long the process will take.

“It might pick this year, it might pick next year,” Barnes said.

The store is having a retirement sale in the meantime, but Barnes said he doesn’t know how long it will run for.

Barnes, 79, got into the ski business when he opened a Mount Shasta store in 1961. He opened the Tahoe location in 1979 and for a time operated both, making the 4 1/2-hour trip between sites.

Barnes said the term he’s well-known for – “Wahoo!” – is an expression of glee that he uses to greet customers, answer the phone and as part of advertising. He started out using “Yahoo,” until another company took over the phrase.

When asked what his plans were for retirement, Barnes answered immediately. “I’ll get to ski more,” he said.

House of Ski is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and is at 209 Kingsbury Grade. For more information, call (775) 588-5935.

Aspen Realty and RE/MAX Realty Today will merge companies this month.

Founded in 1973, Aspen Realty is one of South Lake Tahoe’s longest established real-estate companies. The company will take the name of RE/MAX Realty Today.

Aspen Realty owner David Kurtzman and RE/MAX owners Jesse Chamberlain and Mark Heckert all will be partners in the merged company.

The new realty company will have two locations – one at 2568 Lake Tahoe Blvd., and a second office at 237 Tramway Drive.

– Have information on your business that you’d like to share? Contact reporter Sara Thompson at (530) 542-8009 or e-mail

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