Helly Hansen aims to make extremes more comfortable
Helly Hansen can’t say it invented “the extremes,” but its century-old survival gear has been designed with those elements in mind.
And since a Thanksgiving weekend opening, the new Heavenly Village store’s five workers can pass on that legacy. Helly Hansen specializes in outdoor gear built for the extremes, offering an inventory ranging from goggles to jackets.
Helly Juell Hansen was a Norwegian fisherman who was frustrated with getting wet on the job. He treated his rain jacket with an oilskin treatment, store owner John Scott said.
“His buddies said: ‘Do that for me,'” said Scott, who also co-owns a store at Northstar-at-Tahoe with three other business partners.
Scott also runs the Tahoe Demo Center on Lake Tahoe Boulevard. He was sold on Helly Hansen as technical gear. In England, Scott also worked in the telecommunications business. He ends up delving into both industries in respect to the Helly Hansen helmets. They come equipped with communication devices.
“With mine, I can have a whole conversation with someone and not even stop skiing,” he said.
The shop also carries hats, goggles, sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets, packs, ski bags, jerseys, long underwear and shoes. The company started selling the latter two years ago. Some pairs are so technical in respect to wet conditions, they have water drains at the bottom of the shoes.
The $130 sailing shoe is waterproof, breathable and lined with a polypropylene material. Scott, who started skiing at age 13, talks about the gear with a gleam in his eye.
The merchandise, which comes with a lifetime warranty, ranges from $8 to $475.
“That’s our Verglas jacket. It went to the North Pole,” he said, referring to the sonically-seamed jacket as if it were sonar equipment built for a submarine. He poured water over it to demonstrate its waterproof nature.
Scott’s future plans include placing the South Shore store’s merchandise online. He invested about $70,000 remodeling at the former location of the Tahoe Blue store near the Heavenly Gondola.
After getting off the chairlift, Susan Kelley ducked into the new store last week. She makes a point of buying Helly Hansen garments whenever she has a chance.
“I’m looking for gloves. I lost mine,” she said, while glancing at the jackets.
Helly Hansen can be reached at (530) 725-1272.
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