Tahoe Gear Exchange offering sustainable, affordable access to outdoor recreation
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — With the spring season well underway, businesses and Tahoe locals are ramping up production for summer-centric outdoor recreation. To get involved in some of the outdoor activities that Lake Tahoe hosts year-round, it can be a substantial cost.
Tahoe Gear Exchange is proactively working towards making the investment in outdoor recreation more feasible, along with repurposing recycled gear to increase overall accessibility to participate and enjoy outdoor recreation.
“I come from a climbing gym background, hence my love for the outdoors and sports overall,” Andrew Zaslove, owner and founder of Tahoe Gear Exchange said. “I wanted to open up a retail store to do something different and get more people into the outdoors.”
With a desire to engage more people in the outdoors, Zaslove was originally inspired by hosting his own “gear shop” out of his own home.
“I realized over the past couple of years that I had been collecting my own gear to help entice my friends to get more into participating in outdoor sports like mountain biking, climbing, and paddle boarding, which resulted in me having my own gear store at my house,” Zaslove said. “I was inspired to further pursue that dream and extend the opportunity to make accessible outdoor recreation possible, so I found a space to open a shop.”
After securing a store space, Zaslove quickly continued paving the way with collecting used outdoor gear leading up to opening the doors of Tahoe Gear Exchange and with offering recycled equipment, offers the ability to provide a financially accessible entry point to enjoy outdoor recreation.
“The beautiful part about Tahoe Gear Exchange is most of our price points go anywhere from 25-50% off MSRP,” Zaslove said. “It’s a really affordable way to get into a new sport, upgrade your gear in a sport you’re already doing, and maybe just find some gear you didn’t know you needed previously.”
Zaslove has always been rooted in the mountain culture, he has been a part of the South Lake Tahoe community as a local for more than four years, and was previously living in Colorado for over six years.
Working towards providing accessibility in outdoor recreation, Zaslove is also passionate about providing a space for community members to donate their used goods and equipment so they can be reused instead of thrown away.
“There’s a lot of local vendors, businesses, and brand representatives that go through a lot of products in retail, and it’s either going to the landfill or the Goodwill,” Zaslove said. “This is a space where we can have a brick and mortar destination to get outdoor recreation gear and goods to the public that want these products.”
With a professional background in management and retail, Zaslove was originally inspired to open Tahoe Gear Exchange by traveling to similar stores in the country.
“In a recreation-dense town such as South Lake Tahoe, I thought it’d be a great place to open a business like Tahoe Gear Exchange and see how it can provide goods to the community,” Zaslove said. “Being located on the ‘Y’ side of South Lake Tahoe was very important to me, I wanted to open up a “local’s first” store, where locals can come trade out their used gear and come upgrade their gear.”
Looking forward, Tahoe Gear Exchange is eager to serve the South Lake Tahoe community year-round. Currently, the business is openly taking donations and selling summer recreation gear, and is planning to switch to winter gear during the winter months.
“Right now we are doing a two-season swap each spring and fall, bringing in summer gear during the spring season and winter gear during the fall season,” Zaslove said. “This winter, we are planning to carry over 750 pairs of skis, snowboards, and boots. We plan to be the go-to ski and snowboard shop this upcoming winter season.”
Tahoe Gear Exchange serves as a hub for used outdoor equipment, but also offers educational materials to their customers to fully learn about the sport.
“We offer a full library of guidebooks on skiing, guiding, climbing, and more with material in the books offering information on trails across the country,” Zaslove said. “If you’re going anywhere for a weekend trip or even just want to brainstorm a new trip, we’ve got you covered.”
Tahoe Gear Exchange also offers repairs on outdoor gear such as tents, zippers, buckles, and cords to keep gear durable and reliable throughout the summer season.
“I hope Tahoe Gear Exchange will get more people into the outdoors and get more people into more hobbies that they were otherwise unable to afford or were too afraid to try,” Zaslove said. “Tahoe hosts a lot of individuals that are in the service and hospitality industry, that’s where I originally come from as well, and it’s tough living up here. If we can all get out and play more before and after work, I think the livelihood of this town will greatly increase.”
Tahoe Gear Exchange will be celebrating their grand opening party from 4 – 8 p.m. Friday, May 26, where they will be hosting a small vendor village along with free food and drinks, and an official grand opening celebration at 6 p.m.
For more information on Tahoe Gear Exchange, visit tahoegearexchange.com, call 530-600-0303, or visit Tahoe Gear Exchange at 1076 Emerald Bay Road in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. 96150.
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