Bill Elles opens First Stop Ski & Bike Shop in a small space that was once President Calvin Coolidge's meeting house in Killington, Vermont. They connected the former Triangle Motel to expand operations.
His girlfriend at the time Coral Wing was the head buyer.
Fun Fact: Coral made monster cookies every morning.
Sunrise Mountain Opens
We opened our second location at the base of Sunrise mountain, the Northeast passageway to Killington Resort. At the time it was the longest ski lift in the world.
Bill's little brother, aka "Uncle Tom", helped him rent and tune alpine skis. We became Killington's first Telemark & Backcountry XC Ski Demo Center.
Fun Fact: You'll still see Uncle Tom slinging rental boots on the busiest of weekends with his youngest son Peter.
Jake Burton stops by the shop
Shortly after the opening of Sunrise mountain Bill met Jake "Burton" Carpenter and we picked up a few of the first Burton Backhill snowboards.
While we couldn't use them at Killington the first few years we were able to try them out at smaller mountains like Pico and nearby Suicide 6.
Fun Fact: Suicide 6 hosted the first US Open Championships of Snowboarding before it moved to Stratton Resort and eventually Vail.
During the summer of 1983 we brought the wild, wild, west, back east and opened Sunrise Stables.
Bill, Coral, Becky and the gang offered horseback riding tours up Sunrise mountain into the South Ridge area.
Fun Fact: The Barn is now more than 200 years old and is where we showcase our snowboard selection.
Killington Stage Race
We were an official sponsor of the inaugural Killington Stage Race, a 5-day Professional Road Race with a signature fast finish on the "Sunrise Loop" on Route 100 behind our shop.
This event became a premier Stage Race event for road racers with professional cyclists over the next 25 years. After a brief hiatus, we helped bring back the new Killington Stage Race over Memorial Day Weekend.
Fun Fact: Many former employees have competed in the KSR and a young Ian Clarke once won the GC for Mens Cat 3 before heading to Europe to race pro.
Brushie, Burton, and the Board Barn
While we had been selling snowboards for nearly a decade in our First Stop location we decided to renovate Sunrise Stables and the farm house next to it to create Killington's first true snowboard shop, dubbed the Board Barn.
Burton pro rider and US Open Snowboard Champ Jeff Brushie co-host grand opening by throwing some of the sickest tricks you could imagine on a giant trampoline.
Fun Fact: Brushie offered Randy his snowboard but he turned it down because it was too big... That board now sells on eBay for more than a $1000.
McConkey parties at First Stop
Shane McConkey (RIP), the original wild man of big mountain skiing, designer of rockered powder skis, and all around bad @$$ spent 4 hours signing posters while happily drinking Bill's Heineken!
Fun Fact: Volant skis still hang in the rafters of the museum.
Evan goes to Nagano Olympics
Former First Stop sponsored athlete Evan Dybvig competes in the 1998 Nagano Olympics in Mogul Skiing. After a US National Championship, multiple top 10 World Cup finishes he suffers a torn ACL leading up to the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, he skis anyways and leads the US team to some of their best results.
Fun Fact: Evan Dvbig came back East after the 2002 Olympics and managed Whaleback in New Hampshire. Many of the junior athletes he coached went on to become some of the top free skiers in the world.
Max Elles Podiums at National Championships
Max Elles wins back-to-back Silver Medals at USASA National Championships in Boardercross.
Other team riders and future shop employees Wyatt Mosher, Will Mercer and Kyle Anderson round out the top 10.
Fun fact: You can still challenge Max at the weekly Ski Bum races.
...Hurricane Irene changed the lives of many, mine especially, the first time I was able to get through to my parents was a huge relief but I very clearly remember my mother in tears telling me to "cancel every order, the roads are gone and there's no way we're going to make it through the season."
After the devastation settled in I realized our mom & pop shop means much more to people than your average store. Friends, family, current employees, former employees, and customers like you helped us in a ways we never could have imagined.
Thank you for everything.Without you, we surely wouldn't be here.
Max Elles sustains a life-changing spinal cord injury. With the help of surgeons at Dartmouth, rehab at Spaulding Medical Center and financial support from the greater Killington Community and High Fives Foundation he get's back on snow in April 2012.
Fun Fact: You can donate to High Fives by purchasing a Smith X High Fives branded helmet or goggle in-store. Or by joining us at the next Fat Ski-A-Thon.
JaPow and a Honeymoon of sorts...
Based on a recommendation from Jake Burton. We take part of the First Stop Board Barn crew on a Guided Adventure to the Far East with friends and customers on the trip of a lifetime. Former shop employee takes his lovely wife on the Honeymoon trip of a lifetime.
"JaPOW" was filled with epic powder skiing, snowboarding, culture, food and adventure.
Fun Fact: We can't wait to go back, check out other upcoming Dream Trips
Randy Lands on the cover of Ski Vermont
Team Athlete and Brand Director Randy Elles lands on the cover of Ski Vermont for a full-length feature of Killington powder skiing.
Fun Fact: The following season photos of Randy Elles shot by Justin Cash end up in both Powder & SKI Magazine.
Ian Clarke Heads to Worlds!
Team Athlete and Employee Ian Clarke decides to try out skimo racing (an event where you race uphill, before skiing down). Turns out he was fast enough to qualify and compete in the 2017 World Skimo Championships in Italy.
Fun Fact: The following summer he raced his road bike across the US, Canada, and Europe with the Junior Pro Cycling Team CCB.