New York has a multitude of architectural masterpieces. The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and One World Trade Center are all magnificent works of construction and ingenuity. My favorite New York building is constructed on a much smaller scale yet remains a giant in the hearts and minds of winter sports enthusiasts across the Northeast. Built by Dorothy and Thurlow Woodcock, the Alpine Sport Shop, with its iconic curved peaked root: has towered over the lush foothills of New York’s Adirondack Mountains since 1968. Nestled in idyllic Saratoga Springs, Alpine Sport Shop’s roots are deep, dating to 1941 when ski pioneer Ed Taylor and his wife Jo began selling leather boots, wooden skis, and bamboo poles

to intrepid snow sports enthusiasts enthralled by the notion of schussing through untracked Adirondack powder. A family-owned and operated shop to this day, “Alpine” as it’s known by generations of North Country skiers and boarders, changed hands in the mid-1960s. The genesis of the shop’s current incarnation was born of new owner Thurlow Woodcock’s love of traditional European mountain life, and all the tangible and intangible trappings that go with it. “We love the building and its history, it was a true labor of love. We still have the blueprints my dad drew up when he designed the shop,” says current owner Cathy Hay, nee Woodcock.

the building renders itself to have the vibe of a European chalet. lt looks like it’s been miraculously transplanted here from Bavaria. My dad had such vision, 1 think he could have been an architect if he’d wanted to!” Hay adds.
Labor and love are two subjects Hay is an expert on, as her business partner/husband Jack Hay also happens to be the man she met and fell in love with while on the Saratoga Springs High School ski team in 1968, the same year the new building was erected.
“If it wasn’t for my husband Jack I think Alpine would have ceased. He is a do-everything guy and really is ‘Mr. Alpine’ as he’s been here longer than the Taylors and my parents,” Hay says proudly.
A legend in the ski business, Hay is very clearly her father’s daughter with a love of all things alpine, from the latest European fashions, to the decor and vibe of her ski shop. The store itself is a 5,000-square-foot wonderland of ski and snowboard soft goods and hard goods. Obermeyer, Ni Is, Picture Organic Clothing, Su nice, Marmot, The North Face, Kari Traa, Rossignol, Salomon, Nordica, Marker/Dalbello/Volkl, K2, they’re all here. Despite Alpine’s massive footprint, the Hays manages to successfully capture the warmth of a fully kitted-out Bavarian alpine lodge. The spectacular faux mounted deer wall sculpture, rustic birds’ nest chandeliers, and titanic wood­burning fireplace are testament to this family-run boutique’s adoration of the mountain aesthetic.

What’s the secret to success and longevity- Alpine Sport Shop turned 80 this year. In a world where people are increasingly shopping online? According to Hay, the one-two punch for survival in the ever-expanding digital retail universe is the maintenance of customer loyalty and good service.”I would have to say service is the number one factor that generates customer loyalty, so we base our business on integrity and listening to our customer’s needs. Our staff is dedicated to spending time with each customer, tending to their specific requirements. They’re trained from soft goods to hard goods. Clothing specifics for performance and fit. We have expert master fit boot fitters on staff to make sure the customer receives the fit that will help them romance their skiing experience, whether it’s recreationally or aggressively. You just can’t get that online or via Google,” says Hay.