With used equipment, store makes the outdoors accessible to those on a budget
March 5, 2006
Tour guide Miguel Macias followed his dream to South Lake Tahoe.
After organizing backpacking trips for Boulder, Colo.-based Leave No Trace Outfitters and running an Internet-based business http://www.GRANITEgearshop.com, Macias opened a new and used outdoor gear retail store off Lake Tahoe Boulevard last December with business partners Shane Dejongh and Mike Mather.
The trio put about $20,000 into a remodeling job that included landscaping work, replacing the carpet and painting. They also took over a lease at the former consignment shop located next to Heads Up and continued with the consignment theme. GRANITE gear sells used equipment upstairs, including backpacks and boots.
The idea is to get wannabe adventurers into the outdoor sports without paying the high price for it initially.
“A lot of people will come in who will just want to get outside and play,” Macias said.
The shop also rents snowshoes. Snowboards will go on the rental list next year.
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Macias’ own experience moving to Tahoe seven years ago prompted his interest in offering equipment rentals, not that commonplace on the South Shore.
“When I moved here, I couldn’t find anything to rent. It was a longtime dream have this,” he said, adding he couldn’t “imagine living anywhere else.”
Downstairs, new gear ranges from lip balm for $3 to tents for $300. The store also features Nalgene bottles, handheld radios and climbing gear such as carabiners and ropes.
“We wanted to give locals another choice to shop,” he said, characterizing the selection as a good, better, best representation of merchandise. A 10 percent locals’ discount is honored.
Macias grew up in San Jose and recalled those days when he didn’t have the large disposable income to build a garage of outdoor gear like he had wanted to. His earliest memories of those active times were with his family.
He joined the Marines but always kept his dream alive of going in the backcountry and helping others do so. The outfitter and climber leads trips to Yosemite National Park. Leave No Trace Outfitters touring company operates as Blue Snow Group at Tahoe.
“The South Shore can benefit from the convenience of the online store and storefront that’s customer friendly with competitive prices,” Mather said.
GRANITE gear, which is open at 2124 Lake Tahoe Blvd., between Third Street and the “Y”, is opened daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (530) 544-4726.