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MSG Grand Opening and Holiday Open House Dec. 15

by Susan Whistler

After several months of extensive renovations, a little blood, lots of sweat, and probably a few tears, it’s finally time to celebrate the Grand Opening of Mud, Sweat n’ Gears in their new location at 18 Monroe St. in the heart of downtown Ellicottville. Husband-and-wife owners Kim Reading and Miguel Azcarate can’t wait to show off their new digs and are ready to welcome skiers, snowboarders, industry reps, local media and the entire Ellicottville community to their Grand Opening Celebration & Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. The festivities are sponsored by Philip Vogt General Contracting, Carlsberg Beer and Spyder Skiwear and will feature a casual open house with snacks and warm drinks starting at 8 a.m. and will run throughout the day with a party in the evening from 7–9 p.m.

All you have to do is walk through the front door to know that MSG is serious about skiing and snowboarding … no surprise given the background of the two owners. Reading and Azcarate have been intimately involved in the local Ellicottville community and ski industry for many years, and their passion and commitment to the sport shines through in every corner of their business.

The recent move is actually a sort of “homecoming party” for Mud, Sweat n’ Gears that began in 1992 as a bike shop. MSG originally occupied part of its new location in a 1,385-square-foot space that was once part of the old Market Square Building at the corner of Washington and Monroe streets. The couple bought the business in the spring of 2000 and moved it to 21 Washington St. that fall where it remained for almost 12 years. In 2006, they purchased the Market Square Building and began plans to completely gut and remodel the lower two floors for the new store a year ago last May. The result is nothing short of spectacular.

Custom hardwood double doors open into a beautiful light and open retail space. The décor can best be described as “rustic chic” a la Kim.  It’s the perfect background to set off a high-performance ski and snowboard shop. Phil Vogt organized and implemented the tear out/reconstruction and also acted as a consultant to Reading who designed the interior. Reading got her inspiration from her many ski trips to Park City, Utah, over the years. The lighting fixtures and main counter are fashioned from reclaimed, corrugated, metal roofing from an old local barn. The counter in the rental/tuning shop is paneled with reclaimed red barn siding that Reading rescued from the old barn on the corner of Hencoop Hollow and Route 242 once owned by her family. The floors are wide plank, rough sawn hardwood from Fitzpatrick & Weller. Reading added a touch of whimsy over the main counter in the form of faux antler chandeliers painted a bright turquoise.

The new rental, repair and state-of-the-art tuning shop – the Speed Factory — has its own entrance off Washington Street and will have extended hours during the ski season independent of the retail store. The Speed Factory is a high-tech, top-of-the-line ski tuning system made by Montana of Switzerland, with many unique tuning capabilities including various base patterns resulting in endless options for particular snow conditions, temperature, humidity and skier ability. These patterns are designed to create less friction so skis and boards move over the snow faster allowing for easier turning, a smoother glide and a more secure grip even on icy slopes.

And if that’s not enough to get those ski and snowboard legs tingling, Mud, Sweat n’ Gears will now be open year round with their signature stock of high-performance skis and snowboards, as well as an expanded soft goods inventory with several new lines of lifestyle clothing including Streetwear, Horny Toad, Prana, Desigual and Ibex.

In case you missed it, MSG is hosting a “Great Gear Giveaway” as part of their Grand Opening extravaganza to express their thanks to the Ellicottville community for their support throughout the renovation and relocation process. Beginning Dec. 1, anyone can enter their name into a random drawing at the store to win some great gear – no purchase necessary! There’ll be everything you need to get outfitted for the season. Skis, snowboards, helmets, goggles and apparel are all part of the giveaway. The actual drawing will take place at the store during the Dec. 15 Grand Opening at 8 p.m.

Remember to mark your holiday calendar for this fun-filled event … and don’t forget to think snow!

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