Featured, Local News

Peak Performance race shop changes hands after 32 years

By Virginia Dean

KILLINGTON—One of the most well-respected specialty ski race shops has recently changed hands (for an undisclosed amount) and will continue to operate with the employees who have helped make it what it is today.

Courtesy Peak Performance Ski Shop
Peak Performance Ski Shop is located at 2808 Killington Road.

Run by Denise and Fred Coriell for over 30 years, Peak Performance in Killington has outfitted high-level FIS, USSA, NCAA and master athletes around the world. Its specialty is in race ski preparation and mounting, race boot lifting and fitting, and racing advice for junior to adult athletes. It is one of the country’s largest race dealers for top brands like Atomic, Dynastar, Fischer, Head, Lange, Marker, Nordica, Rossignol, Stockli & Volkl. It was recently named the Best Alpine Shop in New England by New England Sports Representatives.

“The shop was very much my father’s passion, especially in recent years,” said Scott Coriell who, with his wife, Laura, and mother, Denise, helped to run the shop for the past two years, “especially since my mother became more involved with the local fire department and her work in Nepal with the TARA Foundation whose mission is to improve the lives of people living in the Himalaya and to preserve their traditional culture.”

Married in 1975, Fred and Denise Coriell began a long career of entrepreneurship before moving to Vermont in 1987 to become involved in the hospitality industry, running Glazebrook Rentals and the Chalet Coriell Bed and Breakfast. But soon an opportunity to run a ski shop along the Killington Road presented itself, and, before long, Peak Performance Ski Shop opened for business on Dec. 10, 1988.

Denise and Fred Coriell smile with their nephew, Theo, inside Peak Performance Ski Shop in November 2019.

“It was an opportunity that combined Fred’s love of skiing and dedication to his community, which became his life’s work,” said the Coriell family. “He served on local school boards and coached Little League and high school baseball. He was particularly dedicated to the Killington Mountain School where he was a longtime trustee and was instrumental to the school’s evolution and success.”

Inspired by his love of the mountains, Fred Coriell had a special relationship with the Tibetan and sherpa communities in Nepal. This led to great friendships and experiences at home and abroad as he supported the TARA Foundation USA. He passed away in November 2019 after a short but hard-fought battle with cancer. The Coriell family felt it was important to have Peak Performance continue.

“Fred was a loving husband, caring father, dedicated coach, business innovator, and compassionate mentor,” the Coriell family reflected. “His beautiful smile and open personality brought many dear friends into our family. He took great pride watching people grow around him and succeed in their own endeavors. He had a knack for nudging them in just the right way, at just the right time to set them on the path toward success which, in turn, endeared him to so many.”

New owners

The new owners of Peak Performance are Kelly and Randy Bair, who moved to Killington a year and a half ago. They previously resided in New Jersey.

Randy works in corporate finance and Kelly performs market research. They have been visiting Killington for nearly 20 years and have taught both of their children, Isabel,11, and Oliver, 7, to ski on the mountain as well instructed for the resort at various times. They’re members of the Killington Ski Club with both children participating in the Alpine program. It was that experience that ultimately led the Bairs to Peak Performance as customers — a relationship that began close to five years ago.

“Peak is unique in the passion and enthusiasm its staff has for skiing and ski racing,” said Randy. “From providing insight on skis, expert boot work, and World Cup level ski preparation, they are a one-stop shop for all skiing needs and stand behind the products they sell. They’re also key supporters of Vermont ski racing for all levels. The integrity, quality relationship and community support make Peak a special place,” he said.

Future plans for the specialty shop are to continue to provide the same level of sales and service the community has come to expect, the Bairs said.

“We look forward to continuing our focus on the ski race community across the Northeast while also supporting recreational skiers of all levels,” said Randy. “Helping our customers ski their best is the most important thing we can do.”

Scott said the entire Coriell family “is grateful to see Peak Performance continue with the employees who have helped to make the business what it is today… The Bairs are the right people to take the reins of the ski shop and continue to grow it for the Killington community and beyond,” he said.

The shop is open Friday through Sunday and by appointment Monday through Thursday during the early fall as the owners stock the new equipment for the season.

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