Thu, Jan 16, 2014 05:02 PM
Owners Bill and Teeta Langlands credit their staff for
helping the Darkside snowboard shop earn its third SIA award.
Pictured (l-r) Evan Ricker (manager), Teeta Langlands, Bill
Langlands and Tyler Mills (manager.)
Darkside Snowboards was recently voted the 2013 SIA Regional
Retailer of the Year, the third time it has won this prestigious
honor (also received in 2006 and 2008).
Bill Langlands, owner and proprietor of Darkside, which has shops
in Ludlow and Stowe as well as on Killington Road, was pleased to
win this award, saying it's really a reflection on the staff,
quality of service, and activities the shop sponsors as well as the
gear he carries.
Langlands also noted that all SIA ski, ski and snowboard, and
snowboard specialty shops are in the running for this honor so he
has stiff competition.
SIA is the SnowSports Industries America, a national non-profit,
North American member-owned trade association representing
suppliers and service providers of consumer snow sports with
constituents in the retailer, sales rep and resort
Ed Wray, eastern sales and marketing manager for SIA, noted that
there are some 225 hardcore specific member stores in New England
and that it is indeed remarkable for a snowboard specialty shop to
win this award as they are competing against all ski or ski and
The award itself is based on voting by New England-based sales
reps who are given a blank ballot and general guidelines with
leeway to vote for the shop they feel is best, Wray noted. Those
guidelines include such criteria as sales performance, customer
service, product representation, financial responsibility,
promotions, and strong social media presence as well as special
programs or offerings.
Wray also explained that sales reps are knowledgeable judges who
represent multiple brands and products so a "ski rep" could have
voted for Darkside.
In noting the shop was very deserving of the award, Wray
commented, "There's a difference between selling a customer a board
and selling a customer the right snowboard. This differentiates
Darkside - they get it right for the customer."
Darkside also received New England Winter Sports Representatives
shop award in 2012 and was chosen as the recipient of TransWorld
Business Magazine's 2012 Regional Shop for the Northeast.
Asked about the key to Darkside's success, Langlands cited a
"commitment to the sport.
We sponsor a snowboard team (ages 12-26) and help set them up with
vendors and help get them into events."
Additionally, he noted the Darkside Park - rails, boxes,
quarterpipe, etcetera -next to the shop where contests are
"Darkside is the only shop in Vermont to win the SIA award three
times," Langlands said, adding that "it tells you that when you are
going to work every day, you are accepted and respected for your
efforts." That includes his staff, he said, noting they are
passionate about the sport and know how the boards ride.
That's significant as there have been many technology changes in
snowboards, so being familiar with the boards enables staff to
match a customer's needs to the snowboard that will work best for
them, he explained.
"Our employees are able to ask the right questions and send
them out with a demo board that they know the person will like.
That leads to a purchase and a satisfied customer, and most times
it just takes one demo," he added.
In addition to receiving a plaque and gift at a special awards
presentation at the 2014 SIA Snow Show in Denver, CO, on January
31, Darkside receives a complimentary one-year SIA Retailer
The Mountain Times congratulates Langlands and the entire Darkside