Shop Talk: Willi’s Ski and Snowboard Shops (Ep.167)

Willi's Ski Shops — BLISTER Recommended Shops
Greg Klein, president of Willi's Ski Shops

We talk with Greg Klein, president of Willi’s Ski and Snowboard Shops, which is family owned and operated with several locations in the greater Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania. We talk about what brought Greg’s father (Willi) to PA; Seven Springs Mountain Resort; the key ingredients of a great ski shop; ski length & ski width; Willi’s women’s program; shop beer vs. shop pizza; & more.

TOPICS & TIMES:

  • Greg’s father, Willi (4:47)
  • The mid-Atlantic ski scene (8:20)
  • Willi’s women’s program (13:03)
  • How else are you making skiing more accessible? (15:30)
  • The *actual* business of a ski shop (21:35)
  • Kickball (24:02)
  • The culture at Willi’s (25:56)
  • Ski length & ski width (32:53)
  • City shops vs. Mtn Town shops (49:03)
  • Final Thoughts + Shop Pizza (57:22)
  • What We’re Celebrating (1:00:30)

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2 comments on “Shop Talk: Willi’s Ski and Snowboard Shops (Ep.167)”

  1. This last year (in February) I was diagnosed with ass cancer. At first I was pretty freaked out and looking back over my life, first and foremost, my kids came to mind, and all of the crazy shit I’ve ever done. What didn’t come to mind was my career. I still have months to go for treatment, but unfortunately, it seems I’m going to live to look for toward more mid-Atlantic slop skiing. But in all seriousness, treatment is difficult and you have to look forward to something on the dim days. For me that is getting back to skiing and biking. I think of visiting a friend in Winterpark and skiing glades in Eagle Wind. The last time I went, it was so serene, so beautiful. I think of riding a bike through the fall leaves in Snowshoe. It’s riding the lift with my kids. I can’t think of a better bonding experience than these biking and skiing. And like Greg said, it’s not about being good, it’s just being there. Yes, gear is expensive. Yes, it’s a pain in the ass getting everyone to the slopes. But I seriously don’t know of a better way to spend my time and money. As a guy who for a period was looking at the end, those moments are there. They give you comfort, they give you purpose. The pursuits seem trivial, but the larger effect on my life have been significant.

    I’m going to Pitt soon to camp and go to the Wheel Mill. I’ll have to stop by Willies while in town.

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