What happened to Neptune Mountaineering?


Original Post
Suzanne Rembell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

Hi,

I've been living in Boulder since 1985 and have been a customer of Neptune Mountaineering since I moved here. I'm upset about the current state of the store. This was one of the great stores in town, and a wonderful place to get climbing, mountaineering and skiing gear. It was unique and one of a kind.

I went in last week to buy some ski boots and was shocked. There is very little product on the racks and walls, it appears they have closed half the store and the museum has been taken down. Why did they take the museum down?!?! The floor staff member was very helpful and almost looked like she was going to cry when she told me that they didn't have a single women's ski boot in size 7.5, not exactly a rare size. She said she has been told they would be in later in October, but when I pressed it slightly she admitted she didn't know when they would come in. She seemed really sad about the condition of the store.

Does anybody know what is going on? Is Gary Neptune still involved? Is this all because of the Texas people buying it? I got nervous when I heard about that since there is little climbing and no mountaineering and skiing in Texas. Are there any plans to transfer ownership? I wonder if it could be purchased as a local collective from likeminded people and customers?

I know they had problems in the past with customer service and attitude but it seems like that turned around in the last few years. And now it seems like the bottom has completely dropped out. I love the store and don't want it to go the way of the Boulder Army Store and JB Saunders.

It's very sad. It's sad for the customers, the employees and the Boulder community.

What can be done to save this place?

Goodhue · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 10

It is sad.

For a while the new company was using the store as an extended outlet sale for their warehouse merchandise.

They have little climbing gear in stock. I went in there a month or two ago to grab a nut tool... and they didn't even have one!

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,415
previous thread about neptune

You aren't the first to notice
coppolillo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 0

Put it this way---the problems at Neptune have nothing to do with the people at Neptune. Backwoods now owns that store and the Backwoods stores had a rough winter last year.

Funny, if you read the thread (linked above), you'll notice the local manager of Neptune resolved the issue almost instantly...so animosity towards Neptune and its staff seems misplaced. Hate the Texans if you like, but the folks at Neptune do a great job. Their hands seem tied over some decisions made by others.

I too value the store and want to see it survive. Harping on it and bad-mouthing the store aren't going to help (not that you are doing this, Suzanne). The other thread is pretty negative and I wonder why---the local manager helped everyone out, folks are friendly in there--go talk to Dan or Elaine and see how nice a person in retail can be--and they're trying to resolve some issues.

I'd say give 'em a break and hope for the best. I'm still shopping there and sending clients there.

RC

Dankasaurus · · Lyons, CO · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 15

Next time you see one of those lame backcountry.com stickers on a car, think about it.

They still have the intuition liners and bootfitters. They still have funky tele accessories, the museum is in storage whilst they renovate. They still have a couch by the guidebooks. The only thing gone for good is the Neptude...hopefully.

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 90

I went there a couple of weeks ago... and it was indeed a cemetery in there. Depressing for such a famous and important Climbing Store.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240

That's really sad. I hope all of the historic gear made it to the American Alpine Club or some other place nearby. I loved looking at Anderl Heckmair's pitons from the Eiger first ascent.

Nick Votto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 80

Seems like a good time for some of us to go in and make an offer.
Anyone interested?

Doug Lintz · · Kearney, NE · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 915

Is Malcolm Daly's frost bitten toe still on display? It's been awhile since I've been to Neptunes.

slevin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 928
Stich wrote: I hope all of the historic gear made it to the American Alpine Club or some other place nearby. I loved looking at Anderl Heckmair's pitons from the Eiger first ascent.
My understanding is that the museum was not part of the sale of Neptune Mountaineering to Backwoods. Gary stills owns the museum.
Zach M · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 0

Neptune is rebuilding the north side of the store, probably because all of the Table Mesa shopping center is in the middle of renovations. The museum is currently in storage, but is supposed to get put back up sometime this fall after that side of their building is remodeled. The store feels a little empty right now, but I think it's because we're between seasons and they are in the middle of remodeling.

aclayden · · Denver, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 0

I was in there briefly a couple weeks ago and an older gentleman (not sure of his name) working there said that they were remodeling, were going to reinstall the museum, and were going to bring in a lot of new inventory. In short, he said they were going to get back on track and have a lot of new product available. Not sure if that will play out as described, but figured it was worth mentioning here.

Justin Richardson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Texas clothing chains shouldn't own hard core mountaineering stores in Boulder, Colorado.

Dankasaurus · · Lyons, CO · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 15
Justin Richardson wrote:Texas clothing chains shouldn't own hard core mountaineering stores in Boulder, Colorado.
1) There is nothing hardcore about Boulder except driving, the real estate, and the velocity with which all other hardcoreness disappeared. Then again, you may quibble with such a statement if you think spending $650 on a piece of clothing is "hard core". Boulder is not hard core anymore. Texas might still be, in places.

2) Instead of making vapid, drive-by Sanders-esque statements about what private enterprises should and should not be or do, you should do something about it? Oh wait...you probably don't have a pile of cash sitting around so as to buy a brick and mortar retail business in the age of the internet? Perhaps you should ask some Boulder friends...they're probably sitting on a golden trust fund egg and could be goaded into action once you expose how rich and hypocritical they are. Oh wait! They're too busy creating internet startups which will drive yet more coffin nails into brick and mortar retail.
cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0
Dankasaurus wrote:Next time you see one of those lame backcountry.com stickers on a car, think about it. They still have the intuition liners and bootfitters. They still have funky tele accessories, the museum is in storage whilst they renovate. They still have a couch by the guidebooks. The only thing gone for good is the Neptude...hopefully.
I think Neptune is owned by Backwoods, not Backcountry.com

http://www.backwoods.com/?SID=d5448363e19e6de7c16d9fee879cdfd2&___store=en_backwoods
Dankasaurus · · Lyons, CO · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 15
cragmantoo wrote: I think Neptune is owned by Backwoods, not Backcountry.com
Obviously. I can confirm that for you if your question was not rhetorical.

Backcountry.com is no tax, free shipping, best prices, and internet based. The point is that all people buy stuff there and then put the little mountain goat sticker somewhere on their other possessions and make themselves look stupid.

The reason Neptune is struggling, or perhaps Backwoods' business model isn't perfectly what you want, is because of backcountry, moosejaw, and other lame, patronizing, internet places where I do all my shopping because it's cheaper and faster and doesn't involve Broadway.
cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0
Dankasaurus wrote: Obviously. I can confirm that for you if your question was not rhetorical. Backcountry.com is no tax, free shipping, best prices, and internet based. The point is that all people buy stuff there and then put the little mountain goat sticker somewhere on their other possessions and make themselves look stupid. The reason Neptune is struggling, or perhaps Backwoods' business model isn't perfectly what you want, is because of backcountry, moosejaw, and other lame, patronizing, internet places where I do all my shopping because it's cheaper and faster and doesn't involve Broadway.
Oh, ok. Gotcha. I didn't get what you were saying....
Dave Hurst · · somewhat near Boulder CO · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 0
Justin Richardson wrote:Texas clothing chains shouldn't own hard core mountaineering stores in Boulder, Colorado.
I think Neptune's is just setting up one side of the store for a Texas BBQ counter. Staff will transition from boot sales to burnt ends, ski sales to sliders, carabiners to cornbread. Being Boulder, they'll have bbq tofu and quinoa. After all, Daddy Bruce closed on Arapaho a few years back, and somebody needs to take up the Boulder BBQ deficit. I'm told Dan Hare can really dish up a mean plate o' ribs!
nomadwolf360 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0

Hey all,

Neptune Mountaineering's sales manager Dan Vardamis here. We're painfully aware that the shop is not where any of us want it right now, but every single one of us is working as hard as we can to get it back to where it needs to be. It's been a perfect storm of lack of product, construction and the museum being temporarily taken down because of said construction. Again, it's not where we want it, but we're going to get back to that place.

I realize the Boulder rumor mill is churning, but unless somebody here knows something I don't - and I live and breathe this stuff 60-70 hours a week trying to get this right - well, most of those rumors are just that. We've been through a few spells like this during the past 43 years and I suspect we'll have a few more in the next four decades. So it goes in the fickle, break-even world of brick-and-mortar specialty outdoor retail. Come on down...if we can't get you exactly what you need we'll get you in touch with the people who can.

To give back to the community a little bit, we're hosting a Gear Swap on Thursday, October 27 from 6 pm to 9 pm. It's your chance to sell your gear free of cost and maybe pick up some other cool items. All the profit goes to you. We hope you make it down. And if you have any questions, my line is always open - 303-499-8866.

Cheers,

Dan Vardamis - dvardamis@neptunemountaineering.com

Flyer

Todd Bruns · · Golden , Colorado · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0

Might explain what's been going on at Neptune. dailycamera.com/boulder-bus...

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 21,745
Dankasaurus wrote: The reason Neptune is struggling, or perhaps Backwoods' business model isn't perfectly what you want, is because of backcountry, moosejaw, and other lame, patronizing, internet places where I do all my shopping because it's cheaper and faster and doesn't involve Broadway.
Just FYI - Moosejaw is brick & mortar right there in Boulder (just like Neptune) and also gives pretty generously to the BCC for trail work and events (just like Neptune). Granted they are not on Broadway, like Neptune, but they are in the 29th street mall, but to describe them in terms that implies that they are just an internet place would be somewhat inaccurate.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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