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Skiing has been a huge part of brothers Ron and Kenny Jacques life since their mother put them on skis in 1970. They started out at a small mountain with three rope tows, called Spruce Mtn., in Jay, Maine. They spent countless hours over the years ripping around the mountain with their friends. Little did they know, it would fuel their passion for skiing. It was there that the brothers started competing in Alpine and Nordic racing.
Ron excelled in jumping and was a large part of several state championship teams over the years. Kenny also skied on both the junior and high school teams. After high school, Kenny worked in a local ski shop and started coaching alpine racing and has continued ever since. Ron and Kenny continued to ski race after school at different levels of competition until their kids started competing and the passion and focus turned to them.
In 1996, after a great day of skiing at Sugarloaf/USA, the two hatched a plan to open a ski shop in their hometown. At that time there were two other ski shops within 3 miles of where they planned to open Ski Depot—most people thought they were crazy. Maybe some were right, but they did it anyway. With 40 pairs of skis, and not many more boots, they opened up their first location in an old train station a half mile from where they grew up. With enough change to fill the cash register drawer, they kicked off their first year in business.
That first season they sold half of the skis on the rack and ended up skiing on the rest. On Wednesday’s they would put the “Closed, Gone Skiing” sign in the window and chalk it up to “product testing.” Things were about to change drastically…
The next few seasons were challenging ones. Lack of snow, learning curves, and working “real jobs” to pay the bills made it seem overwhelming at times. That being said, Ski Depot quickly became the local’s favorite ski shop and their reputation for customer service and expert knowledge spread around the state with great results. At the time, Ron’s real job was in electronics and instrumentation. Seeing that the internet was becoming a force in the retail world, he realized that Ski Depot needed a domain name and website. In hindsight, that was a very smart move—they sold their first pair of skis online in 1998 and have never looked back.
Ski Depot quickly became known around the country as a leader in race ski sales. The brothers expanded that knowledge and success into the recreational side of ski sales as well. Since then, they have been a driving force in online ski and accessories sales and service.
Kenny and Ron have also had the privilege of working with John Howe building skis. John was a key part of Head and Atomic from the 60’s through the 80’s and is still called upon frequently by ski companies throughout the industry for his expertise. For several years, the brothers worked with John to build The Claw, the precursor to all of the vibration damping systems found in skis today. Kenny and Ron’s experience in ski building has helped give credibility to the knowledge they share about the construction of skis. Although they no longer produce skis, they still install The Claw vibration damping plate on flat profile skis from time to time.
Over the last 16 years, Ron and Kenny have devoted all of their energy to this way of life that only a skier can fully appreciate. Ron is the technical brain at Ski Depot and is the man behind the curtain for online sales and service. Kenny is the voice of Ski Depot and handles the operations side of the business. Together they have built Ski Depot into a family business with a loyal following across the country and worldwide.
Skiing has taken them across the country and to Europe for great skiing and education. The brothers continue to learn and grow so that they can keep their customers informed and equipped with the best gear to suit them and their families. They thank everyone that has given them support over the years and welcome new friends that share the same passion for skiing that they do.They’ll see you on the hill…
The team at Ski Depot is very active in our community. We all live in the same area and are involved in a number of different volunteer organizations and activities. Everyone at the shop takes great pride in giving back to the place that we call home.
We support our local Special Olympians in any way we can. Spruce Mtn. Ski Slope is our home hill and we wouldn’t be who we are today without it. Almost everyone at Ski Depot grew up on the hill and has given back to the club through coaching, making snow, and selling grilled cheese sandwiches in the lodge. We also volunteer with several other civic organizations throughout the area from our veterans organizations, many local charities, food banks, and cleaning up trash from local parks and roads. Being able to make our living in the town that most of us grew up in, makes it a natural feeling to want to give back to our community.