IMG_9123CCMountain Chalet, the mountaineering shop located across from Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs, is under new ownership. Dan and Marilyn Foster, the store’s proprietors for 34 years, handed over the keys March 2 to new owners, Jim and Elaine Smith, who, according to a news release, “share the Fosters’ passion for the outdoors and desire to keep customers happily outfitted in the best quality outdoor goods.”

“Jim and Elaine approached us several months ago with an interest in purchasing the store. Most important to us was that Mountain Chalet would continue as an independent retail shop,” said Dan Foster. “Since its founding in 1968, the shop had only two owners, and I know Jim and Elaine appreciate the iconic status of the shop and will keep intact all that our customers love about us. It’s time I join my wife in retirement and get to work on our bucket list.”

Jim Smith, a New Englander who, according to the release, has wanted to live in Colorado since childhood, said, “When we were exploring Colorado Springs and walked into the store, both my wife and I immediately fell in love with its down-to-earth atmosphere and were impressed with the friendly and knowledgeable staff. The store already enjoys a really strong brand, and we’ll work hard at being good stewards of the shop as it approaches its 50th year.”

According to Elaine Smith, who has a background in sports facility fundraising and health care management, “In the short-term, Jim and I will be immersed in learning about our customers and getting to know — and better yet experience — the abundance of recreation in and around the Springs. All of the employees, many of whom have been a part of the team for a decade or more, will continue to provide the same high-quality service to Mountain Chalet’s customers.”

Jim Smith said, “We’ll focus on expanding our reach to our customers and the community by strengthening our website and enhancing our social media presence. We’re also eager to plug in to the community through more fun outdoor events.”

Founded in 1968, Mountain Chalet specializes in climbing, hiking, camping and backcountry skiing. The shop also offers rental gear, including rock climbing shoes, backcountry skis, cross-county skis, packs, snowshoes, tents and more. The shop is located at 226 N. Tejon.

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