Photo: Ruby Claire
As I walked into Autumn Garage for the first time, I was relieved not to be accosted by a sales predator. Instead, I met the friendliest, most down-to-earth employees I could ask for in a retail environment. From the younger guys behind the cashier to their merchandiser and buyer, the staff is compiled of people who put in more than 100 days a season, not people hating their job and forced to work at a ski shop. They were stoked to be there and just interact with people of the same interest. It’s a good feeling to go into a shop and feel welcome to stay. Today, people are always looking for ways to get customers in and out of a shop as quickly as possible. At Autumn Garage, they have flipped the philosophy and are trying to find ways for people to stay and enjoy the experience within the shop itself by creating their own scene. Autumn Garage is the latest edition to the Utah snow scene and it is more than just a new place to get your fresh gear for the mountain; “Autumn Garage is a mountain lifestyle boutique,” says owner Jared Skidmore.
A long-time local Wasatch ripper who was unhappy with the direction of ski and snowboard shops in the valley, Skidmore is an avid snow-shredder himself and didn’t feel any of the shops really represented his style and culture. He wanted to create his own face for the kind of skiing he liked—hanging out in the mountains soaking up the sun with his best buds. “Skiing is why I still live in Utah. Some of my best friends and experiences have come from skiing,” says Jared. For Jared, skiing is life, but in life there is a lot more than simply skis and outerwear. For many, it is a lifestyle that reflects on every aspect of life. Jared had a dream to create a place where the passion for snow lifestyle is shared through medias such as art and style. He teamed up with his longtime friend and owner of Surface Skis, Mike Schneider, who helped him turn his dream into a reality. Mixing elements of a physical space, events, team riders and a shop, Autumn Garage is creating an identity. It’s an identity that encompasses the passion and excitement that everyone gets from hitting nipple-deep freshies first thing in the morning on a bluebird day or greasing a rail for the first time.
Most of the shops today focus on either the snow-bro scene or the extremely vulnerable gaper population. Autumn Garage focuses on the enjoyment everyone has from being a part of the snow-sliding scene. They are a non-denominational snow-sliding shop carrying both snowboard and ski brands. The majority of the products are soft goods with an emphasis on limited productions. Even if you’re not one for sliding down the snow with boards strapped to your feet, you, too, will find the experience of Autumn Garage a pleasurable one. “We want to bring the fun back into spending your money!” says Schneider.
“We want to create an environment people want to see—an experience,” says Schneider. Although retail is the main source of income, it will not be the only attraction to entice visitors. With its location at the base of the Cottonwood Canyons, Autumn Garage is situated at the Hollywood of today’s industry. They will be hosting several photography and art exhibits in the shop, making it an excellent place for skiers and riders to wind down after an epic day of shredding the Wasatch. Recently, Autumn Garage hosted an opening party with the live band Thunder Mistress to kick off their fresh beginning. They look forward to hosting a multitude of events at the shop as well as hosting several days on the mountain. In the near future, Autumn Garage will also be compiling a global pro team and a Wasatch Front team, so all of you local shredders should keep your eyes open. With these teams, Autumn Garage will be hosting several days to come ride on the mountain along with several friendly local competitions on the map. A “435 vs. 801” is in the works right now for next season and it is going to be off the chain.
Autumn Garage is located at 2258 Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, UT and can be contacted at 801.733.4305.