A few years ago, back when Country Ski and Sport used its warehouse primarily for spring and fall equipment sales, owner Ray Stenson had the vision of an exposition gracing the grounds in Hanover, Mass.
The idea was to re-create Boston’s annual ski expo on a smaller scale. But as the official retailer of the BEWI Ski and Snowboard Expo for a number of years, Stenson was uneasy about going head-to-head with friend Bernie Weichsel, who had run the expo since 1979.
“I did say, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have it here?’ But my partnership with Bernie Weichsel was extremely close,” Stenson said. “So I never even really considered it.”
Flash forward to 2019, when Weichsel sold both the Boston and Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expos to Snowsports Industries of America. That opened the door slightly for Stenson’s idea, but it was in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, when SIA informed the owner of the ski and snowboard outfitter that there would be no retail component of its re-imagined “Snowbound Expo.” It was then that Stenson’s plan, officially, went into action.