Ski season is upon us!
Exit Real World is the latest Oregon store to stop selling snowboards as low-priced competition on the Internet and in chain stores continues to take its toll on independent shred shops.
Exit Real World closed its store in Salem in August, leaving a business that once had five shops in Oregon with just one remaining, on NW 23rd Ave. in Portland.
The closure of the Salem shop followed the news in July that Seattle's longest running snowboard shop, SnoCon, was going out of business.
The Exit Real World shop on NW 23rd is still open for business with skateboards, apparel and shoes — but no snowboards.
The news brought back memories for longtime Exit Real World fans like James Perkins:
@ShredHood Sad day. I remember when they opened in Salem. I'd go there to watch skate videos all the time. Bought my first snowboard there.— James Perkins (@the_jamezp) October 29, 2014
Independent ski and snowboard shops in Oregon and throughout the world have been facing tough competition from online retailers who are able to skim costs and sell cheap online.
Between online deals and low-price box store chains, indie shops have been dropping left and right. The list of Portland and Mount Hood-area shops that have closed recently includes the Ski Chalet in Beaverton, Bob's Ski & Snowboard Shop in East Portland, and the Mt. Hood 26 Board Shop in Welches.
Still, even with the recent closures, there are 22 ski and snowboard shops in the Portland/Mount Hood/Hood River area still in business, including new-as-of-last-year Mountainology in Rhododendron and opening-this-week evo in Portland.
Evo plans to open its new shop in Portland's Central Eastside this week after a major overhaul of the historic Salvation Army building on Martin Luther King Way. It will be the second shop for Seattle-based evo, but it is worth pointing out that evo sells the majority of its gear online.