Neptune Mountaineering Sold

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FGD135

Social climber
Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 7, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
"Boulder's Neptune Mountaineering has been purchased by Backwoods, the Texas-based outdoor retail chain announced this morning.

The official acquisition date was Dec. 31 for an undisclosed amount.

Neptune Mountaineering -- which was first opened on April 1, 1973 -- will remain open through the transition and will keep its name. Located at 633 Broadway, the store specializes in climbing, camping and other outdoor gear."

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_22324919

fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Jan 7, 2013 - 12:55pm PT
Arrrrgghhhhh
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jan 7, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
Uh oh. Hopefully this means the needed improvements happen without losing the best parts of the place.
SicMic

climber
two miles from Eldorado
Jan 7, 2013 - 12:58pm PT
The end of an era. Be happy Gary and Bibi.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 7, 2013 - 12:58pm PT

Wow. I hope Callie's right.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:22pm PT
They had the best mountaineering museum.
Loved that place. Sorry to see it go.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:23pm PT

Uh, JLP, what side of the bed did you wake up on?

The staff that I dealt with was always helpful, professional, knowledgeable
and good.

maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
JLP, thanks for bringing up and event that happened 6 years ago when George W Bush was still president.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Whoa, Wow and Wild.
I wonder if I get kept on as their sparkski?
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
I admit, getting assistance has always been hit or miss when I go there.

I've gone in and waited to get help while watching staff chat and chat. I've left the store after some time when this happens (not that anyone seemed to care). Other times, I get hit at the door with helpfulness. Those instances are very much appreciated

Last year for the holidays, I went in looking for a particular rope to give BN. Neptunes did not have it in stock. I asked if they would order it (I like to support neighbors and independently owned shops) and I was told to just go to Bent Gate in Golden to buy it! I went home and ordered it online instead (which I could have easily done before I took the time and trouble to go to Neptunes).

IMO, difficulty getting help has too often been their greatest weakness. Still, I'd hate to see it go. I hope it doesn't become just another chain-type store.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
Gary created a great 'legacy' store and since he doesn't wear any his shoes will be impossible to fill.
I do hope they keep the shop from becoming REI-lite.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
Mal - 6 years ago, a few people actually still shopped there.

I wish Bent Gate would have bought them, but these folks don't seem too bad:

http://www.backwoods.com/

philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 7, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
Attitude adjustment on aisle 5 please.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Jan 7, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
Back in 1973, I remember going into Gary's shop somewhere east of downtown Boulder when Eric Aldrich worked in the back resoling shoes. Seemed like there was a direct direct connection up to Komito's shop up in Estes Park. Climbing was a lot smaller back then and everyone knew everyone else in town. Sort of a climbing information exchange hub.

Visited Neptune's again in 1996-97 when there were lectures and slides shows on a weekly or was it bi-weekly basis by visiting rock jocks and mountaineers?

This really will be the end of an era!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 7, 2013 - 02:49pm PT
This is not good. They did have their problems, but it would have been good to have bent gate buy them in stead of Walmart.

Ah well, a more generic experience, JLP will be happy.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 7, 2013 - 02:56pm PT
hope it works out for the best.

looking at the backwoods website, I was looking at the climbing section, I see that they carry five styles of five ten shoes, and four styles of La Sportiva.

they list an inventory of shoe sizes, and they don't have anything smaller than size 10. well there are a lot of big boys, and girls in texas.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:24pm PT
An end of an era. The first climbing shop I'd heard about before I'd seen it.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
This is absolutely terrible for one of ST's most valued members.

Those corporate folks from Backwoods are not going to let BrendaPuff and her slutvan continue to stay parked behind Neptunes.

Who is going to loan some parking space to BrendaPuff?
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
I wonder if the Museum pieces went with the sale?

No not Dan.... the gear.

Prod.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:35pm PT
a piece of history is now...well...history.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:44pm PT
I always thought the name "Neptune" Mountaineering a bit ironic. Neptune Kayaks & Canoes seems more apropos.

(Yes, I know the former owner is named Neptune.)

Sort of on topic, a friend from Boulder once referred to those who work there as the Loony Neptoonies.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:51pm PT
what's next, Bass Pro Shops buys Black Diamond?
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:53pm PT


Ah well, a more generic experience, JLP will be happy.

Unpossible.
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Jan 7, 2013 - 03:53pm PT
don't slag on JLP. below thread is priceless. Uber-core employees dripping with "Nep-tude". Not an uncommon occurance.

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/105357-sarcastic-remarks-can-get-you-banned-from-Neptune-Mountaineering
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 7, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
Pam here. Well, I always hate reading such negative comments about Neptune's, but I know there have always been people who have received less than great help, even me. Nevertheless, I worked there off and on for a total of about 9 years, starting in 1983 or so, and finishing my last stint in 1999, I think. Some of those employees AND customers became my dearest friends, especially our gang from the late '90's. I will always proudly consider myself a "Neptunian", and I tried REALLY hard to provide really positive service, even with difficult customers. Hard to be perfect, that's for sure, but I for one will put in a good word for Gary and the gang. I wish him the very best, and the store as well. It occupied an important part of Boulder climbing history, along with the BoMo and to a certain extent Mountain Sports, and will be missed. It sounds as though we won't notice HUGE physical changes, at least not for a while As Crimper said, hopefully the problem areas will be addressed, and the new changes will be positive.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jan 7, 2013 - 05:32pm PT
Well stated Pam. And I hope Gary got a pile of money (and time) from the deal so he can play to his heart's content!!
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
I think I worked exclusively to spend my $$$ at Neptune back in the late 80's/early 90's. Used to love the slideshows as well as checking out the museum pieces. Thought they had a great climbing library that was especially helpful before the internet was a real option. Moved away and then back about 6 years ago. Was a bit disappointed to see a weaker store. Hopefully, the owners did well in the sale. Sad to see it go but probably was the time to move on.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
Again, just to play devil's advocate,for as many disgruntled customers that there were (and in most cases probably for legitimite reasons), there were legions of dedicated customers that came to Neptune's from all over the world, specifically BECAUSE of the outstanding service they received, and they trusted the knowledge of the employees. I can cite plenty of times employees worked after hours mounting skis, or driving stuff over to customers' houses, and so on. During the "bolting wars" of the 1980's, it seemed each climber had their favorite store, and shredded the other store roundly for frequently the same reasons:attitude, poor customer service, etc. Just sayin'............:-)
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:15pm PT


There is NEVER an excuse for ANY poor customer relations...

Making EXCUSES is LAME!!!...

locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:23pm PT


Even if the customer is wrong...

An employee should NEVER be an as#@&%e...

BOTTOM LINE!!!...



EDITED:

"and you know it Locker...

Gonna have ISSUES with that one...

Don't dig people THINKING they KNOW what I know and think...

;-)



Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
My old boss at Taos Mountain Outfitters had a saying, "The customer is often wrong".
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
I have a saying too...

Customers PAY my bills so I'd be a FOOL to be an ASSHOLE to ANY of them...



EDITED:

I remember well this one customer that got really pissed at me (When the buisness was still being run through Nomad Ventures) because he didn't like the way I did the resole (which by the way was a FINE, job)..

It bothered me of course because I did my personal best...

Dude was loud and indignant and swore he'd tell all his friends and all sorts of crap...

Right there in the store, many customers, present...

I simply agreed with him, kept calm (A miracle in itself), refunded his money 100%, took his shoes back and re-resoled them to his satisfaction, and again apologized...

He was fuking SHOCKED and became one of my best customers and to this day, I still do most of the work on his shoes...

Sure it cost me time and money...

But it also is the RIGHT thing to do...

Customer relations is #1 in my honest opinion...



locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 7, 2013 - 06:57pm PT

Here we go again...

Now you're TELLING me what I NEED to do...

"but you need to chill dude"...

I DON'T need to "Chill"...

LOL!!!...



EDITED:

Just curious...

Are you and t*r dating???...

She too appears to have CONTROL ISSUES...

ROFL!!!...
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:03pm PT
I should have added, "The customer is often wrong. They buy a lot of expensive stuff in here they really don't need or will only use once or twice. Just remember to smile when they're handing you the money."
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:10pm PT


Michelle...

Email in 3, 2, 1...






LMAO!!!...

;-)
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:10pm PT
Their biggest flaw at the moment is not competing. If they had a better return policy, and matched Moosejaw's 15% for rock gym members - for example - I think that would go a LONG way. The vast majority in this modern day aren't going to make a major purchase without a guarantee and at least a token ~10% discount.

Neptune is the stingiest store you'll find anywhere when it comes to returns, too. Meanwhile, over at REI...just losing money like crazy with their return policies...

It also has to be in stock. I can order it myself, too, and save a trip after trying on something similar, thank you. Bent Gate just kicks their ass in this regard - the right brand, size and color - in the store.

The thing that gets me most about Neptune is they step back and say - hey, we can't afford a return policy and sales like our competition because we have to pay for all this expert service we're giving you - except the store is filled with people who don't serve you. I feel like a total chump to walk in there and pay full retail for that, especially given the other options.

They need to get over to the 29th Street area, as well.

crock

Trad climber
The Windiest Mountain, Wyoming
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:15pm PT
I loved to stop in when I was in Boulder. On quiet days I spent hours talking with staff/climbers who became friends. I don't need a lot of gear these days, and I knew pretty much exactly what I needed, so I guess I was never looking for help, but I liked being there a lot more than at the REI.

And if I had lived in Boulder, I'd have been there for some of the presentations and fund raisers.

And perhaps I'd have gone in enough to meet someone who offended me!

But in my mind it was a great place. In fact I ought to stop by soon and visit again to say goodbye. Hell, maybe I can even find someone to climb with while I'm in Colorado.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
I first went to Boulder in 1970 when "the Hill" was still happening, and moved there in 1973 when as a student I got a coupon for $1 Eiger ovals at Neptune's (I think it was on 30th street).

When I did my first wall the following year I had bought a lot of hardware from Gary, who always gave great deals.

A nice guy, don't rag on him. Sad to hear that some of the employees had 'tude.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
Oh well. Spend money there in the future and you'll be supporting business in what may well be the most bigoted, mysogynistic, gun-happy, flat-out deplorable states in the union

I'm a wild-eyed supporter of the Texas Succession Movement. Or Mexico can have it back. Whatevz.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
Their biggest flaw (Neptunes) at the moment is not competing. If they had a better return policy, and (blah blah blah)


Neptune is the stingiest store you'll find anywhere when it comes to returns, too. Meanwhile, over at REI...just losing money like crazy with their return policies...

REI is profitable. The co-op is NOT losing money. I don't think you know what you are talking about.

DMT
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
REI is profitable.
You totally missed the sarcasm. Good return policy = comfort and satisfaction = return business = profit. Yes, that's pretty clear to just about everyone who shops.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 7, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
Yep, I sure did! Right over my head.

Cheers
DMT
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 7, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
I heard a few months ago that Gary was trying to sell his store. Sad to hear it's a done deal.

One of the last of the independent climbing stores. A big part of the Boulder community, with all the shows and events.

Shows? I've seen Layton Kor speak, Warren Harding, Joe Simpson, Pat Ament, Royal Robbins, Jim Donini.....best venue, by far.

I really like that the place is not some ultra-clean Foot-Locker or Nordstrom Rack clone, infested with over-attentive penguins with Mitt Romney smiles.

The staff are real people, real climbers, warts and all. Quite the line-up, too, over the years. Pamela, Jack Roberts, Dan Hare, Fred Knapp, Boulos Ayad, Ray Olson, Gary Ryan, David Light, Pete Steers, on and on....

Gary can be really generous, helping people out when he feels it's deserved. But he does this quietly, with no hype.

One criticism would be that for some time now they've been trying to not keep much in stock, especially the popular sizes of climbing shoes--they just order one or two pairs at a time. These may go straight out the door, then they don't have them in stock again for a week or more. The convenience of being able to try on different sizes of the same shoe is one feature of a bricks and mortar store that keeps people coming in. A minor quibble.

Neptunes roolz!
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 7, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Got to know Gary through Paul Ramer, plus I did a bunch of work on their rental fleet. Snowbird 2 years in a row as a guest, no way would I rag on Neptune's! Had a lot of fun with gear from there and going to slide shows.
Sure do miss that part of those days.

Not too surprised, I hope he got a bundle for it and gets to vacation for the duration.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
I hope Gary's museum will survive any makeovers intact--perhaps it could be moved to Golden AAC?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
I'm sure Gary got enough to keep himself in Lederhosen and Norwegian Sweaters for life. End of an era...there goes my discount and Malcolm's toe. Thursday night shows were a good place to catch up with people. Backwoods is a good outfit, possibly a little too conservative.....been around long enough to understand culture, altihough Neptune's defies definition.

edit: Came very, very close to dying today on a rap off of a nondescript route in Sedona.
Full TR to follow when I get back to Ouray.
bergbryce

Mountain climber
California
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
Whoa Donini!

Another historically great brick and mortar gear shop that failed to make the transition to the web folds. Not much surprise there. Gary and the shop had a good run.

I'm also concerned about the museum pieces in the store and hope they find a good home.

edited to add: except for the toe
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:01pm PT
Donini! Re your comment;

edit: Came very, very close to dying today on a rap off of a nondescript route in Sedona.
Full TR to follow when I get back to Ouray.


A lot of us know how close that must have been.

Sluuup! Here's to you cheating death a great-while longer!
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:02pm PT
...Malcolm's Toe? what is that all about?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:30pm PT
Malcolm and I had a bit of an epic on Thunder Mountain in Alaska in 1999. The toe, nicely preserved in formaldehyde, was Malcolm's gift to the Neptune Museum to commemorate the event.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:40pm PT
Well that is a pretty gross thing to display, but probably not as ugly as your underwear after that sling failed today.

;/


I contributed a very strange thick spined euro D biner with a non-latching gate to that collection.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:43pm PT
Ron...I only wear underware when in something shorter than Bermuda Shorts.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jan 7, 2013 - 11:06pm PT
tmi donini.

although i guess ron started it by speculating about yr lingerie.



i've only been in neptune's a handful of times, but had a good experience each time. how many small indies from that era are still in business? marmot was the last one in the bay area.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 7, 2013 - 11:32pm PT


"Came very, very close to dying today on a rap off of a nondescript route in Sedona."...

Yikes!!!...

Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jan 7, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
Yikes, Jim! You are supposed to be catching up with me in years, not rapping off the end of a rope.

Rodger
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 7, 2013 - 11:48pm PT


Rapping is my least favorite part of climbing...

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 7, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
He didn't rap off the end. (wrong Jim)

Anchor failure, Jim is just too trusting a fellow. Thats why he doesn't pack a gun.
SicMic

climber
two miles from Eldorado
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:06am PT
That toe was in a jar in the back by the scab collection. Gross, but funny.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:08am PT
If you are going to Neptunes soley to get the best price on your next piece of climbing gear than you are missing the point of Neptunes. Lots of very cool exhibits of climbing history(disclaimer, some of my stuff is in there as well) and a huge selection of the best gear. And then there were the Thursday night shows which brought in a heterogenous mix of all that was the outdoors. Gary was the man. Now he is the man with a lot more free time.
skywalker

climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:35am PT
I loved going to Neptune's. I'd go on a rainy day and sit on the couch and read books for hours! The only time the staff interupted me during this time was to joke around and I got to know them as friends. One time I bought a rope from them, took a huge whipper and blew the core out of the sheath. I took it in there and just said can you help me? A week later I had a new rope and it wasn't because it was under warrenty. They hooked a loyal customer up!

Cheers Gary!

S...
bjj

climber
beyond the sun
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:42am PT
The logical response to "the customer is always right" line is actually "10% of your customers will waste 90% of your time. It is in your best interest to fire those 1 out of 10, so you can better serve the other 9".

Anyone who has ever owned a business either knows this outright, or has a general sense of it.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:26am PT
I knew Gary and Bibi, and thought they were great, generous folk.

I think much of the problem that I hear mentioned is rooted in Gary's prediliction to hire climbers.

If you think about the characteristics of climbers....aren't particularly interested in suffering beginners, have a fair amount of contempt for silly questions, are as dependable as the weather, either drinking smoking or snorting whatevers around, hitting on any female within a mile.....

You kind of think he would have solved a lot of customer service problems if he'd hired the typical REI crowd, instead.

Seems like the climbing community biting the hand that fed them....

Jest sayin'
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 8, 2013 - 02:00am PT
You kind of think he would have solved a lot of customer service problems if he'd hired the typical REI crowd, instead.

"Yeah, I think we got them carabiner things in the store somewhere."
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 8, 2013 - 07:32am PT
I remember calling up REI and asking them if they had the mono-point conversion kits for Spikeez, and the employee said, "Just a minute, I'll go check." :-) But I must say, while I find frequently many REI employees don't seem to have deep experience in climbing, trekking, backpacking, skiing, etc., I have never found one that tried to b.s. me on anything, and they have all been friendly. While I always try to support Gary, and any small business for that matter, I too shop at REI at times. But then, I am a retailer's dream customer....not a big shopper, but when I do, I know what I want, and am willing to pay for it. HATE big box stores, and the lack of person-ness on-line shopping. When I walk into a store (or bar, for that matter!) and people working there know my name and what I might like, that's worth some extra sheckles to me!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:00am PT
There is NEVER an excuse for ANY poor customer relations...--Mr. Locker

There is always a reason, which can be seen as an excuse by the one at fault--if you'll excuse my reasoning--for bad customer relations. It should be borne in the memory, however, and only forgiven if an honest attempt is made to repair the damage...

It is a two-way street, after all, as are all relationships, Timid Tightrope.

In specialty shops, customer service is an attitude you either cultivate in yourself and your staff or it's gonna hurt your bottom line. Repeat business is the key; and, lacking help or useful advice, who wants to pay the prices the specialty owners have to ask in comparison with REI and the other biggies??

I would rather be fawned over and made to feel worthy than to be ignored.

I recently walked out of a restaraurant I had been looking forward to eating at for weeks, without ordering, when the girl at the counter kept talking on the phone to a friend. I gave her three minutes, interrupted her, then mentioned why I was leaving, and I won't go back (unless someone else offers to pay--my hypocrisy knows no limits).

Maybe I'm confusing this shop with one named for a different planet?
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:11am PT
"..there goes my discount and Malcolm's toe. "

Sh#t, Mal's toe! I completely forgot about that! The stuff should be moved to the AAC for sure.

Funny, I used to shop a lot at Neptune's but haven't in years now. Never once got bad customer service, but that's probably because I am a do it yourself shopper for the most part and will pick around displays for quite a while before I even ask anyone for something. All the times I needed ski help and boots to try on they were very nice. I've heard about the legendary Neptitude, but never got it.

I did however get some lip at Bent Gate once. The store was really dark and I couldn't see anything, so I remarked that it looked like the power was out. The manager snidely said, "Yeah, you think?" OKay... Never bought a thing from them again. Of course, not being open on Saturdays was a big part of that.

Good thing I have Mountain Chalet.
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:11am PT
Gary was always proud of that toe: It was the only body part in his museum. Until Kirby donated his, of course. Now he has two toes.

I'm having coffee with the new owner next week. I'll bring up the toe and see what her plans are. If she doesn't want it, any of you 'tacos out there have a need for a toe?

Mal
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Send it to Mark Tuttle!

He owns TOE.... Tuttle Outdoor Equipment.

http://www.toegear.com/

He could use more toe.

I like toe cleavage...



But not Mal's toe cleavage... ew! (no offense Mal)

Speaking of customer service my only interaction with Neptune's has been via mail order for Boreal climbing shoes. Two points:

1. Outstanding customer service including prompt refund for wrong size
2. Fast shipping - two orders separated by maybe a year or so, both filled and shipped same day as order. One of them seemed to arrive before I ordered it... very strange.

Anyway, this as recently as 3 months ago, good customer service and the only retailer I could find that stocked Boreal Golds in my (or any) size. Hope they continue to carry them!

DMT

Prod

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:20am PT
You are one odd dude DMT!

Prod.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:23am PT
Smile when you write that, Prod. Oh wait, you are....

:-)

DMT

ps. You don't like toe cleavage?????!!!!!11111
Carrbro2

Mountain climber
Lakewood, Colorado
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:26am PT
I was told that the AAC would not take the museum stuff because they had no place to display it, couldn't store it, and were still paying off the buildout of the museum. I was also told it wasn't part of the sale. There has to be a place for that stuff, its too important ot break the collection up...
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:27am PT
Haha, who doesn't.

Cheers,

Prod.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:37am PT
JLP you sound like a bitchy fat broad who's all pissed off and whining about getting a ticket for parking in the handicapped spot at Dairy Queen.




Gary has my deep respect. He is such an accomplished skier and climber and still getting after it on a regular basis. I am always seeing him out and about climbing all over the place. Gary and his staff have always been great to me. They did get ripped a lot by unscrupulous shoppers who picked the brains of his knowledgeable staff, consuming their time and patience, only to go buy on line or at REI to save $12. There is NO way for a single store Mom & Pop operation to compete with a behemoth like REI let alone the Internet. It is the end of an age and I am a little sad for what will be lost. If you knew a shred of the significant history enshrined in Gary's museum you would be stunned. But you should also know that of equal significance is the history generated by the community who for decades have gathered under the roof of Neptune Mountaineering.
Cheers Gary. Best wishes for a rewarding new chapter.


JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:43am PT
IMO, the bulk of money doesn't come from people interested in all that old junk. The vast majority of the displays are really just inside jokes between Neptune and his friends and past employees, many of whom are senior citizens who don't climb anymore. The rest are archeological relics from a long dead era. That junk probably held more interest 30-40 years ago. I think that museum symbolizes the store's real problem - a place that can't evolve and change with the times. Let Gary take his stuff, condense the rest to a corner of the store, then update remainder. How about climbing from the past - say - 20 years?
Kenygl

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:47am PT
A lot of good people through the doors of that shop. I think the first time I went there I met Jack Roberts, who was a friend of a friend in LA, I also think Brett Ruckman was there as well. Fascinating shop. Back in the day when you went to a mountaineering shop for the vibe.I came to the party late, '89ish and remember Gary teaching a telemark seminar in the parking lot in Vail at a demo day event. I still remember him bombing down the run with REALLY skinny touring skis no more than in line, kick and glide skis really. Perfect tele turns on very minimal gear. I never put on a pair of alpine skis again after seeing that. I have always kept that run in the back of my mind aspiring to ski like that.

Once we lose the historic significance which climbers who came before us, bold, strong, fearless people with vision, gave us climbing becomes skate boarding, all hype and trendy. The young climbers who get this historic legacy will continue to push the sport in a good direction the rest are just followers and sh#t talkers sucking the salty tit of pop culture.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
JUNK! WTF?
The only junk at Neptune's is the crap sputtling out of your pie hole because you didn't receive the deference you thought you were due.

Once we lose the historic significance which climbers who came before us, bold, strong, fearless people with vision, gave us climbing becomes skate boarding, all hype and trendy. The young climbers who get this historic legacy will continue to push the sport in a good direction the rest are just followers and sh#t talkers sucking the salty tit of pop culture.
Worth repeating.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
I like toe cleavage...

Me too....

Credit: survival
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:26pm PT
IMO, the bulk of money doesn't come from people interested in all that old junk. The vast majority of the displays are really just inside jokes between Neptune and his friends and past employees, many of whom are senior citizens who don't climb anymore. The rest are archeological relics from a long dead era. That junk probably held more interest 30-40 years ago. I think that museum symbolizes the store's real problem - a place that can't evolve and change with the times. Let Gary take his stuff, consense the rest to a corner of the store, then update remainder. How about climbing from the past - say - 20 years?

Well, it's true that a museum is not the same place as a retail store. Gary has been hoping that he could hand his collection off to a museum, somewhere. Nothing yet....

There are people interested in those "archeological relics," witness the recent sale of a 30- or 40-year-old Crack-n-Up for about 100 bucks on ebay:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2036047/Totally-Crack-N-Up-Over-This-One

"the store's real problem - a place that can't evolve and change with the times" is not a problem, it's a feature.

I think Gary would be proud of Neptunes not being just like every other retail store, changing displays with every whim of fashion.

The logical, obvious thing for him to have done would be to follow the lead of North Face or Chouinard/Patagonia--stop selling pesky hardware, hire expensive marketing consultants, sell nano puffs in every flavor and size. Rebrand the store "Neptune Rack." Fire the climbers, hire some polite just-out-of-high-school kids for cheap.

Or else close the store completely, run a purely internet business, run out of an anonymous warehouse in somewhere like Alabama. Not even have any stock at all, just order stuff from the manufacturers as orders roll in, deep discounts on everything because there's no employees, no storefront. No store, really.

But no. Gary's a person of integrity. He's run it his way, and it's worked. I think his store has been a huge success, for him, for Boulder, for climbers. It HAS evolved. It's grown steadily over the years. A few years ago he bought out the space next door to accommodate even more display space for tents and suchlike. It's gonna evolve again, under the new owners.

Thanks Gary!
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
When Gary hung the majority of that junk on the walls, it was current or less than 10 yrs old. The vast majority are not museum pieces, theyíre just a giant scrapbook of Gary's personal life. It's more akin to the decor in a college frat house, where outsiders who didn't go through the secret hazing and get their frat paddle aren't as welcome.

Really, I think this "we're the insiders in the climbing world" crap is what fostered the now infamous Nep-tude culture and landed them broke and on the block.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
It HAS evolved. It's grown steadily over the years. A few years ago he bought out the space next door
No - the expansion happened pre-internet - like what - 15-20 years ago at this point? The place has been DYING steadily over the past 10. His current financial problems are no secret.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
JLP your insignificance is arrogance is only surpassed by your insignificance.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
Keep telling us stories about that 10+ choss gully you lead in the Black, Philo - your life's greatest achievement.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
Well at least I have some achievements.
But my children are my greatest accomplishment.

But you go ahead and keep on laying the ripe steamers of the never was and never will be.
Continue to disregard and denigrate that which came before 'cause it's so classy.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
Really, I think this "we're the insiders in the climbing world" crap is what fostered the now infamous Nep-tude culture and landed them broke and on the block.

Now you are simply an insolent child. Give the computer back to your mommy. You've got to get back to living your life of inconsequence.
Spanky

Social climber
boulder co
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
JLP,

its funny that you refer to Gary's museum as junk when so much homage is paid to that kind of "junk" on this website. It has to be one of the best private collections of historical climbing equipment in the world with some of the highlights as follows;

Tobin Sorenson's ice axe recovered and donated by Jack Roberts
Boots from the first ascent of Everest signed by Edmund Hillary
Peter Habeler's down suit from the first ascent of Everest without O2
Gear donated to the museum by the likes of Tom Hornbien, Pete Schoening, Kurt Diemberger, Warren Harding, Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard and countless others
Gear donated by Ashenbruner (I know my spelling is off) from the first ascent of the north face of the Eiger.

If you think that's junk you obviously have no appreciation for the history of this sport. Gary's an eccentric fellow there's no doubt but he created a unique shop and his resume as a climber is probably more impressive than yours. And come on lets be honest every small specialty shop in the country struggles with the attitude problem. I've gotten the tude at the mtn shop in the valley too but for some reason it's not mentioned much. As an earlier poster mentioned and I think we can agree climbers might know climbing but that doesn't make them great at customer service, but how many shops in the country can you go into where you can be confident that the person you are talking is actually a climber and really uses the gear.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:36pm PT
http://www.coloradodaily.com/business/ci_22324919/boulders-neptune-mountaineering-purchased-by-backwoods-retail-chain?source=most_emailed#ixzz2HPDCMt67
This is a good local write up.
Forty years is a long time to keep a small business going.
Congratulations Gary.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:42pm PT
Don't forget that Gary's museum has the knife Simon Yate's used to cut the rope between himself and Joe Simpson which was the seminal event for the hugely popular non-fiction climbing book "Touching the Void." Talk about history!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:45pm PT


Though I didn't like the customer service...

I DID enjoy looking at the "Junk"...

Dude had a REAL NICE collection...

Hopefully it will go to a place where all can enjoy it again...

Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:49pm PT
The "museum" is much, much more then Gary's idiosyncratic oddness. It is a node of the global climbing community . Love him or are annoyed by him, Gary Neptune was a major character in this silly little community.

I didn't know Gary well but my husband does. He has stories from nine years of working in the store - before I kidnapped him to Canada.

Whatever you wanna say about Gary, he was authentic.

JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 02:06pm PT
...his resume as a climber is probably more impressive than yours.
Nep-tude.

You used to work there, right? It's obvious. If not, you'd fit right in. You guys all feel this way and project it. You're all better than everyone else who walks in the door.

Except when you aren't. Which, in Boulder, is often.

Now nobody walks in the door anymore. Nobody wants to deal with that sh#t.

locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 02:07pm PT

I also HOPE that the shows/get togethers don't come to an end, though I suspect they will...

It was a good thing for the "Climbing commnunity"...





EDITED:

"You guys all feel this way and project it"...



Broad and INCORRECT statement...

;-)

ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Jan 8, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
Ugh! Is this RC.com?? I clicked on this thread because I was interested in reading about a place that figured a special place in my youth.

Was I really as divisive as this in my younger years? Maybe that's what selective memory (or memory loss as the case may be) is good for, so you can forget what an insufferable jerk you(I) used to be in your bulletproof youth.
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Jan 8, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
Great news for the orinal owners, assuming they got a good price. Sometimes change is good and it sounds like the shop could use a little shake-up.
bergbryce

Mountain climber
California
Jan 8, 2013 - 02:36pm PT
From the article....

Neptune will still work for Backwoods, though his title and responsibilities are still "evolving," Mull said. However, Neptune maintained ownership of the Neptune Mountaineering and Ski Museum, which will remain at the shop.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 8, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
JLP,

its funny that you refer to Gary's museum as junk when so much homage is paid to that kind of "junk" on this website. It has to be one of the best private collections of historical climbing equipment in the world with some of the highlights as follows;

Tobin Sorenson's ice axe recovered and donated by Jack Roberts
Boots from the first ascent of Everest signed by Edmund Hillary
Peter Habeler's down suit from the first ascent of Everest without O2
Gear donated to the museum by the likes of Tom Hornbien, Pete Schoening, Kurt Diemberger, Warren Harding, Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard and countless others
Gear donated by Ashenbruner (I know my spelling is off) from the first ascent of the north face of the Eiger.

If you think that's junk you obviously have no appreciation for the history of this sport. ...

This is well said. It's not just the archaic gear that is of interest, but the collection of stories involved, all personally connected to Gary and the Boulder (indeed, worldwide) community in some way, that would be lost if the collection was dissociated with Gary and/or split up. Having grown up on the climbing stories of the late twentieth century, there's much in that gear that evokes the peripheral elements of the history and provides unique and requisite detail to an overall compelling story. Otherwise, in the end, all we have is the recorded history, which is a bit boring: so and so did a FA on this date, etc.

Perhaps someone in Boulder could do an oral history with Gary going over the collection while it's still in the shop.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jan 8, 2013 - 02:45pm PT
Brenda Puff is an expert at oral accomplishments.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 8, 2013 - 04:10pm PT

Yep, we're all senior citizens. And probably still climbing
harder than JLP will ever dream about. . .
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 8, 2013 - 04:19pm PT
still climbing harder than JLP will ever dream about. . .

Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, meanwhile people who know better are laughing at you.

Why it rankles ya'll to the point of making ridiculous assertions (see above), when someone simply states an opinion (shared by many, actually) that the store had been suffering for a long time, in large part due to inability to move with the times (i.e. recognizing that the little museum and name/reputation doesn't substitute for acceptable customer service in the day of 24/7, clickity click e-commerce.)
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 04:22pm PT

Elcap...

I was actually writing something similar and then saw your post...

I agree!!!...




EDITED:

I personally QUIT shopping at Neptune because of the as#@&%e employees...

Check out the same topic on MT PRoject and once more you will see that others have had SIMILAR experiences with the employees there...

That in and of itself SPEAKS VOLUMES!!!...






bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 8, 2013 - 04:39pm PT
I don't get it. Why all the shouting? Really?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 8, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
THESE PEOPLE ARE EMPHATIC!

BVB!!!??????

CAN YOU HEAR ME?????!!!!!!111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

HUH!!!!!!!?????

DMT
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
I personally QUIT shopping at Neptune because of the as#@&%e employees...

Yeah, I always make sure to take my pepper spray with me when I shop there, just in case.....
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 05:16pm PT


"Yeah, I always make sure to take my pepper spray with me when I shop there, just in case....."...

I used to carry an ASSAULT STYLE WEAPON...

It's the IN thing...

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 8, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
Locker you wouldn't stand a chance against those Peruvian immigrants Neptune employed in recent years, brah...


We don't got no AXONS man!

DMT
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 05:30pm PT

I GUESS it doesn't matter that MANY people had very similar treatment from the staff at Neptunes...

I mean really...

WHY should it???...

Of course stupid customers DESERVE sh!tty treatment...

DUH!!!...

and of course you SHOULD expect the business to BOOM with crappy employees...

another DUH!!! on my part...

I for one DESERVED to be treated like the IDIOT I am when I shopped there and I really SHOULD have continued, regardless...



LMAO!!!...





EDITED:

and no sh!t that JLP person is a fuking ASSHOLE for being HONEST...

and voicing his OPINION....





and Gary is a SAINT!!!...


goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jan 8, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
Gary is probably laughing all the way to the bank after a seven figure sale of his shitty business.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 05:34pm PT


"Gary is probably laughing all the way to the bank after a seven figure sale of his shitty business."...


I HONESTLY hope so...

ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Jan 8, 2013 - 05:36pm PT
Pre google machines and the development of gyms everywhere climbing shops probably had a little more gravitational pull because that was the only place you could get local info, post a note to get a partner, see slide shows, talk to local climbers, etc.

Dunno about Neptunes, I only went there passing through, but understand why some lament its sale.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 06:33pm PT
Gary is probably laughing all the way to the bank after a seven figure sale of his shitty business.
The paper says he's going to be an employee there. That sounds like a very lucrative retirement.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 8, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
It's normal in a purchase of a small business for the former owner(s) to be an employee or consultant for one or two years afterward. It may allow a more orderly transition. It is also ensures that the former owner can't start up another competing business, which is usually reinforced through restrictive covenants.

Often, the former owner is an "employee", and paid a "salary", essentially on the condition that he/she stay away.

There can also be tax reasons for the former owner to take some of the payment in the form of "salary".
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jan 8, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
JLP doesn't understand, or care about, such nuances.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 07:05pm PT


"It's normal in a purchase of a business for the former owner(s) to be an employee or consultant for one or two years afterward"...

Appearing to BACK UP what Mighty Hiker wrote above...

Charles C. is doing something VERY similar after his recent sale of Five Ten...





BACK EDITED:

"and sometimes not so good customer service at Neptune's"...

and yet, ANOTHER...

JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 07:28pm PT
FACT: The store was in the hole and losing money. They did not buy a successful international business like 5.10. They bought a local train wreck about to file for bankruptcy. IMO, Gary needs the healthcare plan more than Backwoods needs advice on how to run a store.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Jan 8, 2013 - 07:39pm PT
I've had my share of mostly good and sometimes not so good customer service at Neptune's over the years but I'm sad to see the last independent mountain shop in Boulder go down... I enjoyed many of the slide shows and presentations over the years, lots of great stuff. Also, kudos to Gary and staff for opening up the store as a venue to honor and celebrate the lives of climbers lost on many occasions.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jan 8, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
JLP

Social climber
The internet

Jan 8, 2013 - 04:28pm PT
FACT: The store was in the hole and losing money. They did not buy a successful international business like 5.10. They bought a local train wreck about to file for bankruptcy. IMO, Gary needs the healthcare plan more than Backwoods needs advice on how to run a store.

Prove it.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
^^^^

What difference does it make goatboy? The store has been sold.

DMT
Hankster

Social climber
Golden, CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:23pm PT
My favorite show ever, will miss that place for sure. Never got attitude from those folks ever(since 1984..ish).
Credit: Philo
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:23pm PT


I have the sneaking suspicion that JLP is correct...

I can't see HOW Neptunes could have been making much of a profit...

Not with REI so close by, with MUCH BETTER customer service...



EDITED:

REI's return policy is AMAZING!!!...

Makes it REAL HARD for the small buisness owner...



JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:30pm PT
It's well known. Everyone who lives here and actually talks to people outside Supertopo is at most 1 person away from someone who currently or recently worked there. The various stores going under here have been talked about for years. Specifically at Neptune - seasonals cut, no stock, no credit, no sales - add that up.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
No difference DMT, just bored and enjoy watching JLP avoid the question and dig his hole deeper.
orangesporanges

Social climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:43pm PT
I did a course with CMS. Neptune had advertised that CMS clients would get a 10% discount on purchases.

I took a pair of Sportiva Spantik's, Gore Tex shell, pair of BD Cobras and 2 60m ropes up to the cash register for purchase along with my course receipt from CMS. Neptune Dude wouldn't give me the 10% discount. He said simply 'Sorry. What you are asking for is incorrect' - This was June 2011.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:47pm PT


Talk about "ASS KISSING" and making EXCUSES for sh!tty customer service...

LMAO!!!...

Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:56pm PT
"Talk about "ASS KISSING" and making EXCUSES for sh!tty customer service..."

When Gary was saying "I don't want their business, " he was happily and specifically referring to guys like you.

For my part I was more of a mind to suffer the idiots and take their money.

Back to your Barge glue vapours.

~ph

Nice picture Hank.
That'd be Scotty Sutton, a true hooligan.
BTW Hank- Neptunes saved a great piece of hate mail from you that we weren't open early on Saturdays. I think you were out of chalk. It was full of cursing and epithtets and became an instant classic for the archives.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
"Gary was saying "I don't want their business, " he was happily and specifically referring to guys like you."...

You're making the MISTAKE thinking that I had some sort of altercation or something...

I never had ANY sort of BAD discussion with ANY of the employees...

The times I shopped there I had a fuking REAL HARD time getting ANY help at all...

So I took my business, elsewhere...

I WAS NOT in ANY way a BAD customer...


so FAIL on your part!!!...





EDITED:


"Back to your Barge glue vapours"...

Another BAD assumption...





I remember one time when I asked for help and pretty much got IGNORED as the employee went and helped someone else (even though it was obvious that I was there, first)...

But MAYBE he was HAMMERED since apparently drinking on the job was encouraged...


locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:03pm PT


"BTW Hank- Neptunes saved a great piece of hate mail from you that we weren't open early on Saturdays"...

Now I get why the BLOW JOB...

You were an EMPLOYEE there...

Makes SENSE now!!!...

Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:05pm PT
Being redressed by the court foole of StuporTopo...

You're correct, I don't know what specific substance you abuse now, but I can guess what it was.

~ph


locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:06pm PT


You really should WIPE your chin dude...

Hankster

Social climber
Golden, CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:07pm PT
BTW Hank- Neptunes saved a great piece of hate mail from you that we weren't open early on Saturdays. I think you were out of chalk. It was full of cursing and epithtets and became an instant classic for the archives.

I wrote that when I was Senior in high school(circa 87), I was from Texas and didn't care so I even signed my full name to that rant. I mean hey, I'm doing the Naked Edge with Keith freakin' Pike and y'all couldn't be open at my time of the morning!!!... so damn funny in hindsight.

Nice picture Hank.
That'd be Scotty Sutton, a true hooligan.

No that's me bro.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:08pm PT
I don't think you'd find many who disagree that he's a generous man of integrity who has done much for the community...

But, it also makes sense for people to hear yet another inside perspective on how the Nep-tude came right down from the top...

I would go further to say that most walk into that store as dirt and have to prove themselves worthy of spending their money there.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:10pm PT


Do you REALLY believe that an employee that walks aways from customers is a good employee???...

Do you REALLY believe that losing business by employees like that is GOOD for buisness???...

It isn't!!!...

I did NOTHING wrong in ANY way...

Just a customer wanting to ask a question and getting ignored...

That's NOT good customer relations...



I can understand Gary not giving a crap about some as#@&%e customer...

But not someone like me and I am far from the only one that got this type of treatment...





EDITED:

JLP is actually NAILING it...

Many of you are personal friends of Garys and that's why your views are so CLOUDED...

It's cool that you're taking up for your friend and all...

But in reality, many of those policies you've posted above SH!T!!!...

To encourge drinking BOOZE at work is flat out STUPID!!!...

Same goes for WEED...

Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:11pm PT
Locker wrote: I have the sneaking suspicion that JLP is correct...

I can't see HOW Neptunes could have been making much of a profit...

Not with REI so close by, with MUCH BETTER customer service...


I call bullshit on that...I have been a friend of Gary since the 70's.

The man has done more to promote climbing goodwill and providing a real climbing store to the Boulder climbing community than REI could in ten lifetimes.

Stores don't have loyal shoppers anymore they have entitled bargin hunters.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
Cheers goatboy. LOve ya man.

DMT
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:16pm PT


"The man has done more to promote climbing goodwill and providing a real climbing store to the Boulder climbing community than REI could in ten lifetimes."...



Bob...

REI's return policy is part of their CUSTOMER SERVICE...

Did Neptunes have a SIMILAR one???...





EDITED:

I do EVERYTHING I can to continue to shop at REAL climbing shops...

ONLY IF I HAVE TO do I shop at REI (rare)...




I gave Neptune my business MANY, MANY, MANY times...

I just eventually got sick and tired of having to CHASE down the employees...

It happened way too often for my taste...

Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
Thanks JLP

I don't think you'd find many who disagree that he's a generous man of integrity that has done much for the community...

But, it also makes sense for people to hear yet another inside perspective on how the Nep-tude came right down from the top.

Entirely my point.

I would go further to say that most walk into that store as dirt and have to prove themselves worthy of spending their money there.


That was a common perception, one that I tried to work against while I was there as did many other staff, like Pammy. But that said, in that environment consistency was very hard to achieve.

While lots of us didn't agree to some policies and outcomes from those policies- it didn't matter at all. It was Gary's shop, there weren't really any managers there. Title of manager, yes, but really it was Gary's show.
And that's the bigger point to be made. He did it just exactly as he wanted.
Those who couldn't deal with it- just like the customers- found out where the door was. That's all. I'm not defending the man, he doesn't need it or want it.

~ph

locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:21pm PT

"I'm not defending the man"...

LOL!!!...

Like hell you're not!!!...



EDITED:

Maybe you should cut back on the WEED...

or whatever else it is you're HIGH on...

;-)




Want some GLUE???...

Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:23pm PT
Now who's making the assumption, foole.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:26pm PT
You know the point jlp is making is actually of interest to me.

I can still recall the first climbing store I ever entered and pretty much every independent climbing store retailer I've visitged since, without exception... had some dickhead parochial know it all as#@&%es there that made going to that store painful. I generally avoided all offers of assistance as a result. I basically made it my business to know what I was buying, and why, before I ever walked the door. That made as#@&%e retail staffers superfluous to me except for working the cash register or fetching me a particular size of shoe.

Neptune's 'reputation' is by no means unique. Seems to me I've heard it for every similar establishment since the beginning of time, so what? There are dickead retailer staffers out there. Its not restricted to climbing, imo.

I've also learned about good service too, from some of those same establishments. Little things, like working with a renowned expert in boot fitting for example and then smiling at the resulting work for more than 10 years. Or knowing the girl who's recommending a particular pair of climbing pants to me, with the attendant markup in $, has a zillion climbs and a million FAs to her credit and has walked every talk she ever uttered in her life and she wears those same pants day in and day out. That actually meant something to me. Or that because of a personal relationship and loyalty, a discount was honored when perhaps I wasn't strictly entitled....

These retailers, true to jlp's comments, DID and a few still do, reflect the tone and style of a bygone era. Its no surprise there are mourners of Neptune's on this site - we're a mature (hahahahaha) crowd here and we pretty much mourn sh#t full time. Celebrate it!

Here's to Neptunes! Well see 'm agin in ELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! ARRRGGGHHHH!

DMT
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:27pm PT

So you agree that it was FOOLISH of you to make that ASSUMPTION about me...

THANKS!!!...





EDIT:

Try NOT to get those panties of yours in such a bunch...




and damnit PLEASE wipe your CHIN!!!...




Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
Locker...you are a newcomer. You have have no idea what Gary has done for climbers and the climbing community in the Boulder area.

The shop is a victim of cheap-ass entitled white-ass climbers with little or no idea what is is to be a good loyal customer.

As Kevin over at Fixe once told me..."he isn't a loyal customer, he is bargain hunter".

JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
The man has done more to promote climbing goodwill and providing a real climbing store to the Boulder climbing community than REI could in ten lifetimes.

Stores don't have loyal shoppers anymore they have entitled bargin hunters.

REI is huge and has given more back to the Access Fund, various local clean ups, charities, classes and workshops all over the country than Neptune ever did or could. Their financials and annual reports detailing their activities are there online for everyone to see.

As for loyalty, I inherited my father's membership number from the 60's and have been shopping there my whole life. Most of my big ticket purchases go to REI.

locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
"You have have no idea what Gary has done for climbers and the climbing community in the Boulder area."...

BULLSH!T and I am NOT in ANY way arguing the GOOD that Gary has done for the so called, "Climbing community"...

I am SIMPLY stating a FACT and that is that the customer service wasn't near as GOOD as it should/could have been...

I am NOT alone in my thinking...



EDITED:

and IF what Tamis BOI wrote is correct???...

That BOOZING and getting HIGH on the job was encouraged???...

No wonder I got ignored so many times...

They were PROBABLY fuked up when they should have been focusing on WORK...






As to Gary himself...

GOOD DUDE!!!...

NO PROBLEMS there, at all!!!...




Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:37pm PT
"I am NOT alone in my thinking..."

Maybe, but you are nearly alone in making this thread about YOU.

~ph
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:38pm PT
Nah...

just explaining myself and am a pretty good example of how others feel...

Also backing JLP because I AGREE with MUCH of what he has posted...



EDITED:

and of course, "Stirring the pot" for fun...

;-)



Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:38pm PT
JLP wrote: REI is huge and has given more back to the Access Fund, various local clean ups, charities, classes and workshops all over the country than Neptune ever did or could. Their financials and annual reports detailing their activities are there online for everyone to see.

And they get a great tax write off...the dip-shits that work there don't know the difference between a camolot and a friend.

I wish the best for Gary and glad that he doesn't have to deal with entitled little Boulder as#@&%es like you anymore.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
I wish the best for Gary and glad that he doesn't have to deal with entitled little Boulder as#@&%es like you anymore.

Oh but he does, as an employee at what used to be his own store!

We can start another thread here when they fire his ass!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:43pm PT

"We can start another thread here when they fire his ass."...

That one is LOADED!!!...

ROFL!!!...





EDITED:

the way the few here are getting so PISSED is fuking PRICELESS!!!...

LMAO!!!...

Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
JLP wrote: Oh but he does, as an employee at what used to be his own store!

We can start another thread here when they fire his ass!

What a little dipshit you are. Gary has lived a positive and full life..unlike your lame ass.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:45pm PT
Locker..I'm not pissed just disappointed in your ranting lame ass posts.


Locker..tell me what have you done for climbing in the Boulder area?

Blank...nothing!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:48pm PT


Bob...

Don't fall for MOST of it, PLEASE!!!...




I have ZERO against Gary...

It was a couple of his employees that had me going to Bent Gate instead...

I LIKE the place (Neptunes) and HOPE like hell that the shows and such, CONTINUE...
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:50pm PT

"Locker..tell me what have you done for climbing in the Boulder area?"...

NOT just Boulder, but I CONTINUE to offer very, very GOOD prices on pretty DECENT resoles...

Where MOST other resolers UPPED their prices when the crunch hit...

I LOWERED mine...

GREED isn't my thing!!!...

and of course I do my little bit of FA's that's for EVERYONE to enjoy...

As you know, it isn't CHEAP...

;-)


EDITED:

and I also continue to mentor, n00bs...

I believe in GIVING BACK...

Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
Locker..ever run a business with 10 or more employees?

I doubt it.


JLP claim to fame is that his lame ass got haul up a few FA's in the Boulder area by Dan Hare...a Neptune employee.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
"Locker..ever run a business with 10 or more employees?"...

I ran (owned and operated) three very successful photo studios that employed quite a few at times...

But no, not 10...



EDITED:

Don't make the mistake of thinking that I don't know how to run a business or deal with employees...



Prod

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:57pm PT
I was just there to buy some skin tails. Talked to Jenny about the sale. She said that the store was going to stay basically the same. That the museum was going to stay there but that Gary still owns it. The changes would be minor to the public and more infrastructure issues.

I've been treated poorly there, I've had great service there too.
My wife kicked me in the jaw on one of our first dates too. True story, roundhouse. POW... nailed my jaw 6' or so off the floor.

I take the good with the bad.

Prod.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:58pm PT
Here is how it goes...person comes into Neptune's and want to try on climbing shoes or ski boots. Employee spend a half hour finds out what size and fit and then customer stated that he can get them $5 to $10 dollars cheaper at REI or the internet.. and walks out the door.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:58pm PT
I have ZERO against Gary...

It was a couple of his employees that had me going to Bent Gate instead...

I LIKE the place (Neptunes) and HOPE like hell that the shows and such, CONTINUE...

Hahahahhaha!
Several Neptunes employees now work for Bent Gate.
Great guys, like Tom Mason.

Good logic there. Hahahaha!

~ph
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 09:58pm PT
No that's me bro.

HANKSTER for president!!!

Prod.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:00pm PT
No that's me bro.


Sorry Hank!

You do look like Scotty S. in that foto.

~ph
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:00pm PT

"I've been treated poorly there"...

~~~ Prod

that's ALL I am trying to point out and there it is, AGAIN...

Brassnuts ALSO wrote something similar...

I can't begin to count how many I personally KNOW that have said, similar...

WHY GET PISSED AT ME for NOT liking SH!TTY service???...

Just DOESN'T make ANY fuking sense...


I don't and won't deffend CRAPPY employees!!!...

BOTTOM LINE!!!...




EDITED:

I am an ASSHOLE for WANTING better service...

LMAO!!!...

HUH???...


Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:03pm PT
Are we as#@&%es for saying, "You've stated your case"?

~ph
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:03pm PT
mdaly-

It will be interesting to find out what transpires in your meeting. Back in high skool and college I worked at the Backwoods in Dallas; after graduating I worked as an assistant manager and manager at the Wichita, KS and Norman, OK stores respectively. The stores were pretty much geared to backpackers and climbers.

Managing the Norman store was pretty cool as that was in the early '80s when the okie climbers were in their golden age. Met quite a few really damn nice, dedicated climbers that gave me a lot of inspiration. When I took over the store it became apparent the previous manager was using it primarily as an outlet to support his drug dealing. It was a hole and he had no clue about climbing and hiking.

I tried to turn it around but unfortunately had to close it after a year or two. The dirt bag local climbers just did not have enough disposable income to support the store, and being Oklahoma there were not many other sources of income. An occasional pack, sleeping bag or tent to someone going backpacking in CO was about it.

Over the years of working for them their business model changed to catering software to wealthy hunters, fly fishers and their fashion oriented wives.

Have not been to one of Backwoods stores in ages, so I don't have a clue as to what their business model is these days. When I was there it was based out of Wichita, KS. The CEO/Owner was a guy that made big money in oil and started Backwoods as a lark.

Speaking of which, at the time we had a TNF rep who's name was Bill (TNF was pretty much in it's infancy). I don't remember the last name - Quigham or something like that. Cool guy; anyone know him?
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:03pm PT
that's ALL I am trying to point out and there it is, AGAIN...

Brassnuts ALSO wrote something similar...

I can't begin to count how many I personally KNOW that have said, similar...

WHY GET PISSED AT ME for NOT liking SH!TTY service???...

Just DOESN'T make ANY fuking sense...


I don't and won't deffend CRAPPY employees!!!...

BOTTOM LINE!!!...




EDITED:

I am an ASSHOLE for WANTING better service...

LMAO!!!...

HUH???...

Lighten up princess. I still love you. Even if I can't find my shoes.

Prod.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:04pm PT

Man...

what is your fuking PROBLEM???...

"Several Neptunes employees now work for Bent Gate.
Great guys, like Tom Mason."
...

PLEASE show me where I wrote that ALL Neptune employees were as#@&%es???...

Hell, now KNOWING that MAYBE they were HIGH...

sh!t...

that makes me wonder IF that wasn't part of what took place...

They just were FUKED UP...

???...




EDITED:

"Even if I can't find my shoes."...

Check Neptunes...

Maybe one of those HIGH employees STOLE them!!!...

Prod

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:04pm PT
~ph isn't Tami is it?

Prod.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
~ph isn't Tami is it?

Prod.


No, just hacked her acct. :-)

~ph
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:09pm PT
The shop is a victim of cheap-ass entitled white-ass climbers with little or no idea what is is to be a good loyal customer.


I wish the best for Gary and glad that he doesn't have to deal with entitled little Boulder as#@&%es like you anymore.

I'm guessing Neptune's was able to hold on, more-or-less, for years longer than would have been possible if those "entitled white-ass little Boulder as#@&%es climbers" would have shopped strictly according to their self interest, which would be to buy pretty much everything from REI or the Internet.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:10pm PT

"Are we as#@&%es for saying, "You've stated your case"?"...

I don't think you're ASSHOLES, at all...

Did I say you were somewhere???...

If I did, I APOLOGIZE!!!...


Honestly, I enjoy this kind of banter...

It doesn't really bother me personally...

I find it entertaining...



Greg@Bent Gate

Gym climber
Golden, CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:10pm PT
Hi Locker!

Have you had enough of this rude and childish treatment after posing such a poignant, honest and frank opinion illustrating the rude underbelly of Neptune Mountaineering? I bet you have! Do you wish there was a climbing shop that is completely intolerant of poor service and where customers such as yourself can "be themselves" without the fear of the judgement that goes on in Boulder? Well there is!

I would like to take this opportunity to formally invite you (as well as all of the lurkers and non-lurkers alike) to come join our fun-loving, California friendly and responsible bunch of climbing aficionados who know the benefits of what good customer service brings to the climbing community. I think most all of you will find that our seasoned employees "keep the bar high" by maintaining a sense of order and decorum, while encouraging quality discussion and service about our favorite pastime. We also have superior choices in climbing equipment as well as a state-of-the-art credit card processing so you can get out there and go climbing with little downtime shopping for your gear.

Our store may take a small amount of getting used to, as we do have reasonable standards as far as language and posing that are strictly enforced. Signing up for our customer loyalty program is easy and painless, and the rules will be explained in detail during the process. I will warn you however up front that being rude to our staff is strictly "VERBOTEN", and something we have zero-tolerance with. So if you are tired of the juvenile intolerance of alternative lifestyles that is continually on display at Neptuneís and yearn for a climbing shop that embraces the rainbow of retail sales, all I can say is: "Come join the fun"!
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:10pm PT
Haha,

I was reading and saying this does not sound like Tami. I am on here way way too much.

Who are you ~ph?

Prod.
AKA Guy Kenny.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:12pm PT
WOW!!!...

What the fuk???...




"Hi Locker!

Have you had enough of this rude and childish treatment after posing such a poignant, honest and frank opinion illustrating the rude underbelly of Neptune Mountaineering? I bet you have! Do you wish there was a climbing shop that is completely intolerant of poor service and where customers such as yourself can "be themselves" without the fear of the judgement that goes on in Boulder? Well there is!

I would like to take this opportunity to formally invite you (as well as all of the lurkers and non-lurkers alike) to come join our fun-loving, California friendly and responsible bunch of climbing aficionados who know the benefits of what good customer service brings to the climbing community. I think most all of you will find that our seasoned employees "keep the bar high" by maintaining a sense of order and decorum, while encouraging quality discussion and service about our favorite pastime. We also have superior choices in climbing equipment as well as a state-of-the-art credit card processing so you can get out there and go climbing with little downtime shopping for your gear.

Our store may take a small amount of getting used to, as we do have reasonable standards as far as language and posing that are strictly enforced. Signing up for our customer loyalty program is easy and painless, and the rules will be explained in detail during the process. I will warn you however up front that being rude to our staff is strictly "VERBOTEN", and something we have zero-tolerance with. So if you are tired of the juvenile intolerance of alternative lifestyles that is continually on display at Neptuneís and yearn for a climbing shop that embraces the rainbow of retail sales, all I can say is: "Come join the fun"
...




TOO MUCH!!!...

LMAO!!!...




Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:13pm PT
I tend to love getting jostled around by shop clerks, it's an opportunity for enlightenment sometimes. For instance, I was looking at snow shovels at MEC (who are known in modern times for obsequious excellence) with this staff dude.

I liked the smaller volume shovel for it's compact nature and one piece deployment, he insisted the only shovel worth it's salt was the large manly one.

"the larger shovel moves more snow" said he.

Yes, but that only matters if you can move more volume, that is resistant by it's weight over time, said me.

"I hope I never have to be rescued by you".

HAHAHAHA !
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
Greg@Bent Gate...


Are you talking about BENT GATE in Golden Colorado???...

If so, that is already where I've taken my business...

I LOVE the shop and how I've been treated there...

NEVER had a single problem and ALL of the employees are COOL, FRIENDLY, ATTENTIVE and HELPFUL...

At least ALL that I have encountered, so far...

I expect it won't change...




EDITED:

I do have one more question...

Do you ENCOURAGE your employees to drink alcohol and smoke weed on the job???...

Just wondering...

;-)



Greg@Bent Gate

Gym climber
Golden, CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
Of course!
Come on down and tell them Greg gave you 25% off anything in the store.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
"Of course!
Come on down and tell them Greg gave you 25% off anything in the store."
...

Thanks for such a GREAT offer but it is not necessary!!!...

I already DIG your shop and have no problem paying competitive prices...

;-)



EDITED:

Still taken aback at your response here and the offer...

THAT is how it SHOULD be done in my honest opinion!!!...

THAT is GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE RIGHT THERE!!!...

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
Locker,

This thread is sort of a eulogy to an iconic entity in the Boulder area for 40 years. If you think about it, there are not many climbers that can point to a 40-year business that they started and ran successfully for that period of time.

So, this is something of a eulogy for an era passing.

Now, I don't know your experience in giving eulogies and talking at memorial services, but mine is that you generally don't spend your time trashing the subject, for which people have some emotional attachment.

As I said, the bad characteristics that you and others complain about in Gary's employees are the common and typical characteristics of many climbers. He literally hired them by the hundreds.

I find it ironic that kicking the climbers out would have undoubtedly produced better customer service, and produced many poorer climbers.

Gary made a decision, and it clearly hit his pocketbook. But that is what happens when you keep faith with those who share your lifestyle.

But when it crosses over into PERSONAL insults against Gary, based upon no personal knowledge....that's just infantile crap, from inconsequential minds.

You aren't part of that, thankfully.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:23pm PT
FACT: The store was in the hole and losing money. They did not buy a successful international business like 5.10. They bought a local train wreck about to file for bankruptcy.

Fact: JLP is a liar, writing about stuff he knows nothing about.

When he tells you he has you on belay, remember that.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:26pm PT
Ken...

I don't disagree that it is SAD, the passing of such a staple in the climbing commnunity...

But time has a way of doing that...

And it was NEVER Gary that I was refering to...

It was a couple of his employees...

But I also already knew that complaining would get me nowhere...

I was JUST, a customer...

The lowest, of the LOW at Neptunes...

;-/

Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
Locker...make sure run down to Bent Gate for that 25 percent off. LOL
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
Bob...

REI's return policy is part of their CUSTOMER SERVICE...

Did Neptunes have a SIMILAR one???...


Yes, locker, he had a policy of employing CLIMBERS who actually knew the use of the products they were selling.

That is a CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:37pm PT
Haha,

I was reading and saying this does not sound like Tami. I am on here way way too much.

Who are you ~ph?

Prod.
AKA Guy Kenny.


Hi Guy,
Phil here. Yes, I worked in that 'juvenile bastion of alternative lifestyle' for too many years. It was at once sublime and sometimes the pinnacle of frustration- as most who worked there will tell you. In that regard, not much different than any other outdoor shop I worked for.


Again the point that most here seem to have missed is that Neptunes, for lack of a better expression, was a cult of personality. The personality was Gary's. His attitudes and philosophies determined how his staff behaved under his command. He wrote policy for the shop- the staff manuals are all in his own handwriting.
'Managers' were always something that Gary sought to avoid. For the unlucky blokes who had the title of Manager there, it was very hard. Ask any of them. Placing the burden solely on those who worked so hard for him- relieves Gary of any responsibility. Conveniently facile.


As Greg from Bent Gate has indicated they have their own standards at their excellent business. Bent Gate's staff are not courteous by accident. Good on 'em. This reflects a topdown commitment of policies and training that they, the owners of Bent Gate, have set as priority. This is terrific- much needed in the Boulder market- as the BoMo and MtnSports are gone(?). Best of luck to these guys, they are good guys and provide an excellent Mtn shop experience.

~ph

locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:39pm PT

What a NICE thing to write...

"As Greg from Bent Gate has indicated they have a different set of standards at their excellent business. Bent Gate's staff are not courteous by accident.
This reflects a topdown commitment of policies and training that they, the owners of Bent Gate, have set as priority. This is terrific- much needed in the Boulder market- as the BoMo and MtnSports are gone(?). Best of luck to these guys, they are good guys and provide an excellent Mtn shop experience."
...


Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
Locker..I run a business that does over 3 million in sales and I would never get on the internet and bash another business and make sarcastic remarks trying to get new customers...not my style.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:41pm PT
Here is how it goes...person comes into Neptune's and want to try on climbing shoes or ski boots. Employee spend a half hour finds out what size and fit and then customer stated that he can get them $5 to $10 dollars cheaper at REI or the internet.. and walks out the door.

So one day Gary pulls his head out of his butt and says hey REI - I see your 10% and raise you a whole flip'n 19% - and actually told a few people about it - the Feb 29th 1 day sale. Neptune's is decimated - cleaned out - scorched earth. I go in there the next day and there is NOTHING left to buy.

If you can't compete and still make money in the middle of what certainly must be the largest per capita spending on the planet on outdoor gear...
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
Hey Ken M.

I read what you wrote to Locker, then deleted.

YOU ARE A DICKHEAD. Proven many times on this forum.

Prod.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:43pm PT

You know...

if it weren't for a few dickhead employees...

NONE of this conversation would even be taking place...

Really WISH I would have COMPLAINED, now...

MAYBE, just MAYBE someone would have listened...

My error!!!...


EDITED:

Instead, I just took my business elsewhere...

FAIL!!!...


locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:45pm PT

"Hey Ken M.

I read what you wrote to Locker, then deleted.

YOU ARE A DICKHEAD. Proven many times on this forum.

Prod."
...



I read it too...

It's OK!!!...

;-)



Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:45pm PT
Locker, voting with your feet is the only real customer protection.
Greg@Bent Gate

Gym climber
Golden, CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
We look forward to pleasuring all of Neptune's former customers!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:48pm PT
We look forward to pleasuring all of Neptune's former customers!

Greg,

Please say Hello to Tom Mason for me. Still a stellar bloke, I'll wager.

best regards,
Phil
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:48pm PT

"We look forward to pleasuring all of Neptune's former customers!"...

Talk about GREAT, "Service"...

YOWZA!!!...



EDITED:

They'll PROBABLY end up throwing me out of Bent Gate simply for being...

ME...


ROFL!!!...
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:49pm PT
Greg has three posts here all bashing Neptune's and trying to get customers...wow.
Greg@Bent Gate

Gym climber
Golden, CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:53pm PT
Bolts are on sale now Bob!
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:56pm PT
Greg wrote: Bolts are on sale now Bob!

Class act you are Greg.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 10:58pm PT
Greg has three posts here all bashing Neptune's and trying to get customers...wow.

Hi Bob,

Long time- no see. You almost certainly won't remember me. Funny tho', was just talking about CATS to someone the other day.

I don't fault Greg for his posts here- all's fair in love and war.

As I see this thread- it's about the end of an era. And those were some pretty spectacular days. Some pretty terrific slideshows and some good times with friends.

Gary contributed mightily to the climbing and skiing communities and that won't ever change.

Here's to the Boulder before the bubble real estate economy. The Boulder where Verner still fixed hippie buses. And Martin Acres was an affordable place to rent or buy a house.

~ph
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:01pm PT
Tami/Ph..I have nothing against Greg..just loss a little respect for him to come on this site as a business owner and bash Neptune's. Like I said before not my style.


Forty years in business and no doubt Gary made some mistakes...I know I have.

As to Neptune's...I think they will come out this OK...Backwoods more than likely has the resources and money to make things happen.
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:02pm PT
The Boulder where Verner still fixed hippie buses.

74 Westy rebuilt by Verner in 1991. Also resided in the "World Famous" chicken coop somewhat near Martin Acres...

Prod.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
I love how it is seen that I am an as#@&%e for wanting to be treated decently at a store where I spent my hard earned money...

Oh well!!!...



One thing you can ALL be certain of...

You can give me all the sh!t you want...

Call me any name you want...

Tell me my resoling totally sucks!!!...

and I'll still resole your shoes to the best of my ability, with a smile and a huge THANK YOU!!!...

and it will be, SINCERE!!!...


I am a CUSTOMER just like the rest of you...

I know how much something as simple as a pair of shoes can mean...



JUST ASK PROD...

Maybe one day I will send his shoes back to him...





EDITED:

But I suggest that you NEVER shine a black light on your shoes unless you want a BIG surprise!!!...

;-)

SWH

Trad climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
Greg - you run Bent Gate AND AlpineZone? What a renaissance man!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
74 Westy rebuilt by Verner in 1991. Also resided in the "World Famous" chicken coop somewhat near Martin Acres...

Prod.


No shit! A Sibleyville graduate!? That's awesome. Cheapest monthly rent in Boulder. Period.
I still remember when Ray Olson lived there. Paul had an orange extension cord that ran out to the place for electricity. I saw that cord sparking with a short-circuit while drinking beers with Ray one evening. Kind of woodged me out!

So you likely know Sasha Montagu as well and other denizens of the coop?
Didn't Jeff Lowe live there as well? What a history that place has.

The Sibleyville thread is one of my favorites on this site.

Cool!

~ph
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:08pm PT
Pam here. Oh, that would be Pam (Ranger) Roberts, who worked at Neptune's off and on for about 9 years, beginning in 1983ish and ending in 1999, in every capacity from salesperson, to book buyer, to floor manager, and isn't afraid to hide behind my ST tag name. Yes, I DO take it personally when some of you say that "I stopped going there because of "the" a#$h&3le employees." I'm going to go out on limb here and say that I seriously doubt that many people thought that of me, or many other of my colleagues, at least during the times I worked there. Were we all perfect all of the time? I seriously doubt it. Are you perfect all of the time? Judging from your hateful spew, I seriously doubt that either. Retail is a hard business, and if you've never been involved, don't judge. If you have, take a look in the mirror. Please undersand, if you had a bad experience, I'm sorry...take it up with that particular employee, or the manager, or Gary. If it doesn't change to your liking, you have every right to your opinion, and your right to no longer go to that store. At any one time in any business (I am in education now...is every teacher in my school great? Hardly. Does that make my school suck? Not at all!) Did we try to be as good as possible? In my case, and the people I worked with, I can also say (most always) yes. If you have a beef with an establishment, I get that. But to possitively SHRED a place that has been in existence for 40 successful years, with TONS of still-dedicated customers, you are in the wrong. I'm not going to throw out names, but some of you might want to re-read some of your postings, and wonder where your vitriol comes from. I, and all of us, spent plenty of hours GLADLY helping people like you, who I knew was NEVER going to buy from us, but buy on-line or from a store with cheaper prices whose employees didn't have as much experience as we did. I always felt like if I gave good service, then perhaps we would gain a customer in the long run. That was always my effort. And indeed Gary can be quirky, but he has given his LIFE to the Boulder climbing scene. Anyone who thinks he has raked in tons of money during this eneavor has NEVER been involved in small-businees retail. Most money Gary made he put right back into the store, and as much as he could, back to the employees. We got benefits that no other store offered....staff ski trips to Snowbird, small bonuses if we climbed certain things (usually in the low grades, not gnarly things), if we climbed, skied, camped in the same month, Christmas bonuses, etc. I'm not at all trying to say that Neptune's is or was perfect. Nothing is. I'm not, and you aren't, either. All I'm saying is that some of you have been unhappy with the store...that's totally fair. Why then are you so unbelievably over-the-top about it, when at the very same time WAY more people WERE happy with the store??...that's why it stayed in business for 40 years, despite its quirkiness. Gary is 65 years old now or so.....yeah, it's ok for him to want to do something different now, and sell the store. Gary did NOT go out of business like some others in our community for poor business practices. He SOLD the business....he has nothing to be ashamed of (well, maybe the scab collection! :-) )...we should all be so lucky to get to live out our passion, and make some others' happy (customers, employees) in the meantime, and even make a living. Did icons like Heinrich Harrer, Reinhold Messner, Layton Kor, etc., etc., give him all that stuff because Gary BOUGHT it from them? No, they GAVE him that stuff because Gary is the real deal. Like the rest of us climbers, full of ambition, passion, quirkiness, love of the mountains, and perhaps even some fear. And if you think some of that stuff isn't symbolically important, than I suggest you spend some time learning about the people and climbers upon whose shoulders you stand. I just simply don't know where this anger of yours comes from, and I find it terrifically pathetic and sad....if you are trying to be funny, you are not. If you think you are cute and cutting edge sarcastic, you are not. We climbers are a unique and crazy bunch, and I have gained much from many of you especially in this last year by being a member of ST. But I can't stand idly by and listen to so much spite that seems so very needless, and diminishes us as people, and as climbers. So be happy, and go shop at REI or on-line at Sierra Trading Post. I'm sure it will be an awesome, memorable, and money-saving experience. Just try to loosen up a bit. All this is supposed to be fun also, isn't it?
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
Always were a Class Act, Ms. Roberts.

Big hugs to you!

~Phil
WTF

climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
I always found it to be friendly.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:13pm PT
Thanks Pam.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:14pm PT
Love you Pam and remember those days fondly...you, Jack, Pete, Paul, Todd, Steve and others did a great job. You should be proud to have worked in a community based store that did so much for the Boulder climbing community.

Another thing about Gary...he just couldn't say no when it came to helping out climbers. A great man who will be missed...I wish the best for him.

Locker...praising Greg to come on here and bash another store/Gary tell me a lot about how your mind works.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:18pm PT


I actually believe that a LOT has been hashed out here that is GOOD...

Don't see it as such a bad thing...

Gary isn't going to lose any money over any of this and at least as far as I am concerned, I never thought it was about GARY in the first place...

For me, it was always about a couple of crappy employees...

Any business that lasts as long as Neptunes is bound to have a few here and there on occassion...



I really SHOULD have complained...

I just don't like getting people in trouble and figured it would just be easier to go somewhere else...

Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
Locker wrote: For me, it was always about a couple of crappy employees...


Forty years in business and a few crappy employees...shit what a failure!!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:20pm PT
Another thing about Gary...he just couldn't say no when it came to helping out climbers. A great man who will be missed...I wish the best for him.

One that comes quickly to mind. Gary sponsored Derek Hersey without hesitation. Was like a second father to the bloke.

As a privately held business- not financially transparent- but he's done huge for climbers and skiers. Small or large, he sponsored numerous expeditions- offered discounts to team members, etc., etc. I've personally witnessed this many times.

Once again- none of his detractors here are even in his league.


~ph
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:21pm PT

"Locker...praising Greg to come on here and bash another store/Gary tell me a lot about how your mind works."...

Oh good fuking lord here we go again...

LET's GO!!!...

Come on Bob...

Let's pick up the pace here and see where it goes...

I'm ready, willing and able (though still sick and in bed)...

;-)




EDITED:

Now that you KNOW everything about me...

ROFL!!!...


Jesus...

Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:23pm PT
PH wrote: Once again- none of his detractors here are even in his league.

You got that right. Not even close.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:24pm PT

"Forty years in business and a few crappy employees...shit what a failure!!"...

Man your fuking reading skills SUCK!!!...

When did I write that Neptunes/Gary was a FAILURE???...



I give me, "Round one"...

We're on "Round two" now...

I am circling to the left, about to throw a jab...

You counter with???...

"none of his detractors here are even in his league.

You got that right. Not even close."
...


I answer with...

WHO GIVES A FUKING RATS ASS!!!...


"Round three" now...

Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:31pm PT
Locker...you been Bashing Neptune's from the start of this thread...Gary last name is Neptune...do you see any connection??

Or has the glue gotten in your head? :-)
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:33pm PT
Phil, hugs back! Todd, you're welcome. WTF, glad you liked it. Bob, love you too! Locker, it's down to "a couple crappy employees." That sounds WAAAY more like it! :-)
If we can't support each other, and help us all be successful, than we are not a clan, and we can't honestly celebrate what it is to be a lifelong climber. We will not always agree, that's for sure, but let's just try to keep the ugliness out, shall we?
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:35pm PT
I know it's named after Gary...

I HOPE you KNOW that I was refering to Neptune the STORE...

NOT the man himself...

Gary the man couldn't have been any better for the climbing community...

He was and IS, GREAT in that department...



and sorry for having to sit on the stool during round four, five, six and seven...

I was busy drinking from the little black bottle KEN M passed me...

;-)





EDITED:

I will from now on refer to this day as the day I became the ENEMY to the "CLIMBING COMMUNITY"...


I take my banishment like a MAN!!!...

See ya!!!...

Nice to know ya!!!...

ADIOS!!!...




LMAO!!!...




Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:38pm PT

I have to say that Tami and Bob D'A come across a lot better than the detractors. Being pathologically coastal, I was only there once but liked it just because. I bought some approach shoes with good advice, and the shoes served me well. I climbed with one of the employees at JTree and that was one of the best cragging trips of my life.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
Looking it as something that has lasted 40 years I think Neptune's can stand proud on what it has offered to the Boulder community and the employees that worked that gave great service, route beta and gear information.

I'll miss it...not always perfect but very familiar. A loss to Boulder climbing community.
SicMic

climber
two miles from Eldorado
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:57pm PT
Holy crabs what a shiet show.



But I'll miss Gary the man, quirks and all. I'll miss the shop. I'll miss all the old employees. I'll miss giving the occasional show.

Progress is a bitch, but that's what we're stuck with. Thanks Pam for your glimpse of sanity, Bob D for keepin' it real.


photo not found
Missing photo ID#282968
(and an old pic for the kids -on display inside the front door at Neptune. Name us all, win a prize!)
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:59pm PT


Bob, I totally AGREE with you!!!...

You WIN the rest of the rounds, thus the FIGHT!!!...


and I personally have sincerely LEARNED from this thread and all the nonsense within...

In a POSITIVE way, that is...

So for me at least, it's not only been ENTERTAINING...

But also a LESSON LEARNED!!!...




EDITED:

It is also upsetting because many of us are of similar age (or close), and it represents the beginning of the end, for US...

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:03am PT
Hey Ken M.

I read what you wrote to Locker, then deleted.

YOU ARE A DICKHEAD. Proven many times on this forum.

Prod.

That's ok, prod. Locker can stand up for himself.

As for you, I'm sure you were perfectly happy to take advantage of the Neptune fundraising efforts for the things you believe in, even if you never put in a penny.

Glad to see that you want to pile on to kick a friend of the climbing community who didn't make his mark by talking, like you do, but by ACTUALLY climbing.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:04am PT

It continues...


EDITED:

This is the Middleweight division...
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:05am PT
I was busy drinking from the little black bottle KEN M passed me...

;-)


Cheers. :)
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:06am PT


^^^

LOL!!!...

;-)

Prod

Trad climber
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:06am PT
As for you, I'm sure you were perfectly happy to take advantage of the Neptune fundraising efforts for the things you believe in, even if you never put in a penny.

Glad to see that you want to pile on to kick a friend of the climbing community who didn't make his mark by talking, like you do, but by ACTUALLY climbing.

What? Please explain.

Prod.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:09am PT


Seconds out of the the ring now!!!...

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:19am PT
prod, you made a big production in the other thread about a climbing mag not treating climber contractors right.

So here we have an example of a business treating their employee climbers right.

So what do you do, jump in with the group, upon the announcement of the sale of the store, bashing the guy.

To what end? The store is sold. Neptune is not running it anymore. Nothing anyone says will change Neptune's management, because he won't be managing.

The point? To kick someone in the teeth on the way out.

Remember that what comes around, goes around. When you make the bonehead mistake and crater, you can look forward to a bunch of people letting your relatives know about all your deficiencies.....because that's how you want to do things, I guess. I walk to a different beat.

As for the specific issues involved with my deleted post, the relevant sources:

8.Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9.Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10.Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:38am PT
Ken M wrote: The point? To kick someone in the teeth on the way out.

Which bring me to believe that Greg at Bent Gate is the one we should pity.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:43am PT
All - isn't "Greg at Bent Gate" the same character 'luring' everyone to Mountain Project a while back? At the same time, he was on MP luring people to ST? He also did this stuff at Alpine Zone and other places.

In other words, he's big ol' troll. He's got a lot of fishies on his lures right now, no? :/

Remember? See e.g., http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1938915&tn=100.

Ljohnson

Social climber
The land of ice, snow and rocks
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:46am PT
I respect Gary and everything he has done for the Boulder community....
But aside from Dan helping me with BoCan beta, the staff at Neptune's has always (in my 18 years of patronage,) been unhelpful and aloof.
As a manager for a locally owned outdoor retailer and guide service I wholly support locally owned business, but if my business had poor customer service I would expect my business to fail.













Then again, I don't have a toe in my shop.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 01:20am PT

"All - isn't "Greg at Bent Gate" the same character 'luring' everyone to Mountain Project a while back? At the same time, he was on MP luring people to ST? He also did this stuff at Alpine Zone and other places.

In other words, he's big ol' troll."
...




So he's NOT the manager or owner of BENT GATE???...

Sure am GLAD as hell that I didn't take him up on that supposed offer...

Would have been embarrassing as hell (and FUNNY to boot!!! At my expense however)...

LOL!!!...

GOOD ONE DUDE!!!...

I BOUGHT IT, hook line and SINKER!!!...(I think at least a few of us did... Bob being one of them)...


LMAO!!!...

Fuking TROLLS...

;-)





EDITED:

Sh!t I even emailed him a THANK YOU and such...

I think it's the first time I have been so perfectly SUCKERED...

It's fuking HILARIOUS to me!!!...



It's ALL about the timing and his was RIGHT ON!!!...

LOL!!!...



TROLL EDIT:

That really was well played...

A masterful TROLL job...

GREAT TIMING!!!...

;-)






Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Jan 9, 2013 - 01:29am PT
Against my best inclinations not to comment on this thread for a variety of reasons......dang am gonna say something.

Business, Personal and other battles are just that....battles that bother the heart and soul if yo believe'in in em. Chill is the word. People and life are more important than strife....jess sayin'. lynnie on a dang cold winter nite.

Peace All.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 9, 2013 - 02:18am PT
I only visited Neptune Mountaineering once, in IIRC about 2003. I was in Estes Park for Access Fund meetings, and then spent a few days in Boulder. A visit to Neptune's was essential, given its reputation. I was there on a quiet weekday afternoon, and had a good look around over several hours. I'm reasonably familiar with climbing retail, and from what I could see and hear the place was well run, had wide and deep selection, and had knowledgeable and experienced employees. (The museum stuff of course added greatly to the character, but let's leave that aside.) Overall, it seemed very much sui generis.

There are lots of climbing stores that start small, cozy, and with attitude. The owner's a climber, his friends work there, they mostly have climbing-related stuff, and funky decor. They were common in the 1970s - up here we had MEC, which then matched that description, the Swallow's Nest, and Der Sportsmann in Leavenworth. Many didn't survive more than ten years, and those that did almost always did so by greatly broadening and (usually) diluting their roots. Most often by getting into clothing then, which would now be the "lifestyle" products. More corporate oriented ownership, with all its attendant demands for homogeneity and results. And so on. We all saw it happen - I remember meeting people who knew REI when it was a funky little store run by Jim Whittaker, in the 1950s. Somehow Neptune's managed to grow to a respectable size, and sustain things, without falling into the trap that so many other retailers did.

There are some retailers which have grown considerably, become somewhat corporatized, but do still deliver the goods in terms of climbing gear, community, services and stuff - even if you have to hike past kilometres of neon coloured puffies to get to it. In some ways size, discipline and diversification allow them to continue doing a good job serving their core areas, and retain at least some "authenticity". But it's a hard equilibrium to maintain.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 9, 2013 - 04:51am PT
@SicMic

Awesome photo. Brings back good memories, that.

When I first moved to Boulder, Derek was making pizzas at that skinny little joint on the Pearl St. Mall.
Waiting for our pizzas with my fellow housemates and coworker grunts at TNF, we noticed some rather astonishing photos on the wall. They were shots of Eldo and climbing features we hadn't yet visited. In all the photos was this guy, climbing, who looked a hell of a lot like Derek Hersey. We then looked around to the thin, long-haired bloke in tube socks, preparing our pizza and our jaws dropped.
"Holy sh#t, that's Derek Hersey!"

Move forward a few months. We now know Derek pretty well- Derek always was very friendly with the blokes at the climbing shops- even dorks at The North Face. On one particular evening Mark Cantor encountered Derek at the Boulder Theater. Derek was in the balcony but was keen to share his ale with Mark- who was still down on the main floor.

Splash! This was followed by the signature Derek exclamation, "Drink heavily!"

Stories I much later heard about Derek from back in England suggested that many back there regarded him as a bit bonkers. Sleeping in picnic shelters, living fantastically hand-to-mouth, the 'Dirty Derek' moniker, etc.

An interesting contrast to his time in Boulder with the stories of him cheerfully helping out newbies in Eldo, while soloing this or that. These were not at all unusual.
It's nice to know that he became so beloved and well regarded in Boulder, despite being an illegal alien the whole bloody time! Hahaha.

Derek's parents were quite fond of Gary and came to visit on more than one occasion. They also seemed to appreciate the home he found in Colorado.

Another colorful, complex Boulder character. His passing is still a great loss, in my view.


Thanks again for that foto, Mic.
BTW- enjoyed your slideshows as well.

~Phil

PS- If you bump into Linda Spears Morrison at the crags, please say Hi for me.


Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 9, 2013 - 07:35am PT
PH, just enjoying re-reading your postings and wanderings into the past....some great memories there! :-)
I'll make sure to get your message to Linda...
much love to you and Tami!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 9, 2013 - 07:53am PT
I recall Gary always being cordial, interested, interesting, and helpful whenever we went into his shop bitd.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 9, 2013 - 08:23am PT
Phil and others, its little wonder you're protective of the name and reputation of your former employer. Thanks for the stories. I bet a chunk of your lives is wrapped up in that place and its not nice when someone kicks dirt on those memories.

DMT
George

Ice climber
Los Alamos, NM
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:40am PT
I am not sure who the Greg@Bentgate guy is, but the profile picture is NOT Greg Floyd, founder and co-owner of Bent Gate.

He might be a manager or employee, but definitely not the owner. Even if Greg the owner felt that he had good reason to dog on a competitor, he is way to business savvy (and too classy) to do it in a public forum.

I worked at Bent Gate 2004-2006. Their growth is a direct result of very good management by the owners and analytical buying It helps when you "steal" your buyer from a PhD program and turn him into a climbing bum, instead of hiring a climbing bum and hoping he can crunch numbers.

That is not to say that during my time there that we did not hire some less than great employees or piss off the occasional customer. Every retail business does that, but it is how you deal with it that matters. As a manager there I personally responded to a few cases where a pissed off customer posted on a forum. We addressed the issue directly and made a loyal customer.

I am sad to see Gary sell Neptune and I hope he did well in the sale. He is one of icons of the outdoor industry and stayed true to his vision of running a core climbing/skiing shop. Time will tell if the new owners can increase profitability without losing what has made Neptune Mountaineering an institution.
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:56am PT
prod, you made a big production in the other thread about a climbing mag not treating climber contractors right.

So here we have an example of a business treating their employee climbers right.

So what do you do, jump in with the group, upon the announcement of the sale of the store, bashing the guy.

To what end? The store is sold. Neptune is not running it anymore. Nothing anyone says will change Neptune's management, because he won't be managing.

The point? To kick someone in the teeth on the way out.

Remember that what comes around, goes around. When you make the bonehead mistake and crater, you can look forward to a bunch of people letting your relatives know about all your deficiencies.....because that's how you want to do things, I guess. I walk to a different beat.

As for the specific issues involved with my deleted post, the relevant sources:

You must have reading comprehension problems, or you are just too anxious to get to your point and forget to read what others have written. I am not nor was I bashing Neptune. I'd bet I spent more in that store this year than 98% of the Boulder posters who spent any money there this year. I spent money there yesterday. There was no "BIG" production from me in the Climbing Mag thread, I made an observation and commented on it. And it differed from your perspective so you called me Stupid. Please keep reading below.


And I was not standing up for Locker when I called you a DICKHEAD, I was pointing out to you that you are a DICKHEAD and have shown that to be true more than once here. Just because you went through a program does not give you any right to be a DICKHEAD, apparently it is just the way you are. Personally attacking someone when you can't come up with a logical counterpoint to their argument is a DICKHEADISH move.

Cheers,

Prod.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:18am PT
Prod I did read up thread that it might be a troll.
It's hard to keep up with threads that take off when I am working.
If it is a troll I appologize.
If it isn't I stand by what I said.

JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:19am PT
Remember that what comes around, goes around.

I don't recall any negative comments when Culp's store went under.

I think it's pretty funny how Gary's supporters fully admit and even brag about how incredibly polarizing he could be, then take offense in the next breath at how ungrateful the same people he alienated are for not recognizing what a great community builder he was.

He ran a great frat house for a rather small part of the Boulder community, that is all I see. A bunch of people who would otherwise be cleaning toilets and flipping burgers in an otherwise elite town were given a home and a feeling of status. Threats to that world by outsiders were dealt with accordingly. I never saw a Neptune crag cleanup day or anything of the sort for the larger community - only perks for the insiders.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:20am PT
I don't recall any negative comments when Culp's store went under.

That's because you only see and hear what you want to see and hear.
And that becomes more evident every time you hit return.



Bob got crapped on hard here.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:29am PT
Bob got crapped on hard

Some people pay good money for that kind of thing...as long as you're wearing leather.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Clean up in sports wear.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:45am PT
When did we start eating our young?
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 01:07pm PT


We were PLAYED like cheap Violins...

and the music made a scratchy, but SWEET sound...


philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 9, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
I missed something other than the boat. What is a TGR thread?


And who cares what JLP thinks?
JLP cares.
An army of one.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Jan 9, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
Does this thread have more posts than that Chessler antique ropes thread? You Boulder guys take your retail thing quite seriously!
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jan 9, 2013 - 02:05pm PT
Shopping is a competitive sport in this town.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 9, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
The TGR thread is just some disgruntled guy ranting. I asked the employee in question at the time and as it turns out the customer/TGR tread author had thrown something at the employee (it is on video...) and THAT is why he got booted. Funny he didn't mention that in the thread....
Funny how is wasn't mentioned anywhere in the > 700 replies over the next couple months, either, even at the peak where Neptune employees were posting any and all slander and personal information they could find on the guy. Even Gary himself chimed in. You'd think such a detail would have been highlighted.

Really, by far, it is the most hilarious internet rant thread I've ever read.

If someone got lit up and started throwing sh#t around the store - all the funnier.

In fact, it could possibly be even funnier than watching a certain employee popping veins in his forehead, sweating, turning red and throwing things around behind the climbing counter after a customer asked all the wrong questions about something I completely forget.

I've never seen such drama at REI - for sure.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 9, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Shopping is a competitive sport in this town.

Lol shopping is a competitive sport in EVERY American town. There are few more competitive arenas in fact, outside of mortal combat.

Luckily there isn't enough profit for Walmart to be interested in us.

DMT
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 9, 2013 - 02:57pm PT
PH, just enjoying re-reading your postings and wanderings into the past....some great memories there! :-)
I'll make sure to get your message to Linda...
much love to you and Tami!

Thank you Pammy, you are gorgeous!


I thought of another Gary story, worth sharing, that most folks would never know about.

Gary takes on The North Face

I don't know what precipitated it, but somehow, back in '98 or '99, Gary became rankled by the business practices employed by the higher ups at TNF-Berkeley. Memory tells me that this was right on the heels of a trade show so maybe that's the source.

Having a store right next door to a North Face outlet had made the decision easy for Gary to not stock TNF gear. This changed with TNF's acquisition of A5 and then LaSportiva to follow. Now Neptunes had to deal to a degree with TNF.
It started with some stories sent to Gary from other TNF dealers complaining of strongarm tactics that caused the dealers to book ever larger preseason orders with the company.

Gary began to feed these stories through the shop's FAX machine- sending them to other dealers he thought might be interested.
Soon, not a few, but quite a lot more such stories started coming back.
Most were very unflattering of TNF and the various tools they used to leverage bigger buys from their dealers.
The whole thing began to snowball. Gary spent at least an hour a day- stuffing an ever growing stack of pages through his FAX machine.
The giant disgruntled chain letter had by this time not gone unnoticed by the muckity mucks at TNF. They were not happy about it- at all.

Then one day to follow, I was also on the line when a conference call came through for Gary from Todd (Katz?) and some other guy from TNF.

The gist of the argument was this: "Gary you don't seem to like the North Face very much- and in "good conscience" we don't think it is proper that Neptunes stock the LaSportiva brand" that TNF now owned.

To their utter amazement, Gary immediately agreed with them and promised to have all our LaSportiva product inventoried, boxed and ready to return by the next day.

I still remember the silence on the phone that followed as these guys realized their plan had completely backfired.

Gary was quite willing to box up what was his flagship line of rockshoes with no hesitation. Didn't even blink.
I remember the inventoried amount of shoes was about 12 or 13 grand at wholesale.

The blokes at LaSportiva were also stunned- as TNF had promised them that they would be hands-off in the running of LaSportiva. Colin and the Sportiva crew understood that this argument wasn't about them and they had just been used as a pawn by their new owners.

The North Face debacle peaked when the Securities and Exchange Commission halted trading of TNF stocks for a few days. Word of TNF double shipping orders and cheap accounting tricks had all come to light.

As I recall it was about a year or less, when TNF had to unload LaSportiva and they were once again their own. As soon as this happened, Neptunes continued to carry a full lineup of LaSportiva- only a bump in the road.

While it may seem like a tempest in a teacup, Gary's crusade with the FAX machine really did help to empower small gear dealers in the MidWest who didn't have the clout or profile that Neptunes enjoyed.

And during that phone call with those goons in suits, I had never been more proud of Gary. The man has balls made of solid steel.

~ph

Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 9, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
Yeah, at that time wasn't La Sportiva THE best-selling rock shoe in the country, and certainly in Boulder? I remember how stunned I was when we did that (I was there then)....and it barely changed our sales, did it?
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 9, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
Nice one Phil.
Gary has got balls and class.

Credit: philo
Credit: philo



Hey JLP we all get that you are all kinds of butt hurt because the Neptune staff did not sniff your O-ring in a properly deferential manner. Obviously because you didn't measure up to their hard dude clique. So give it up. Go take your platinum card to REI. You can impress the noobers by strutting your all knowing badboi stuff there. Surely you will measure up there but might want to wear your heel lifts just to be sure.
Roots

Mountain climber
SoCal
Jan 9, 2013 - 04:01pm PT
Damn it - I never got to see their museum. Anyone know where it'll end up? - ebay maybe : )

PS Bent Gate = kick ass!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 04:51pm PT


"I never got to see their museum. Anyone know where it'll end up?"...

Supposedly the Museum is going to remain as it is, for all to enjoy...

Let's HOPE that is true!!!...

It really is a GREAT collection of stuff...




EDITED: If you read back (Prepare yourself for some strange sh!t), you'll see where a couple have posted such...

;-)




locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 05:49pm PT


SLIGHT THREAD DRIFT:

What a STRANGE turnaround!!!...

So I called over to Bent Gate to check on the BS that was recently tossed out to some of us...

Low and behold, they already KNEW about this thread (I guess someone else alerted them to it)...

Well, turns out that for ME in particular, I GUESS(???) because of the TROLL dude and perhaps because of my open SUPPORT for their business(???)...

they ARE in fact going to HONOR that offered 25% DISCOUNT on any single item in the store...

even though it was offered by a "TROLL"...

WOW!!!...

Talk about GREAT customer relations......




EDITED:

Needless to say...

as before when I answered the "TROLL"...

I DO NOT plan on using it, but DO appreciate the OFFER...
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 9, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
Yeah, at that time wasn't La Sportiva THE best-selling rock shoe in the country, and certainly in Boulder? I remember how stunned I was when we did that (I was there then)....and it barely changed our sales, did it?


Pam,

As I recall we did feel some pinch at the time- mainly from having such a major shoe lineup change mid-season. Overall though we still sold boat-loads of rockshoes.

Funny thing is that this story will mostly remain a sleeper except for industry insiders. Any directly involved players will remain necessarily silent.

The bald truth is that what Gary stumbled into was a much bigger rat's nest than just pressuring of TNF dealers for fatter orders.
Gary also received many accounts of what later became known as "Stuffing the pipes" as dealers were over-shipped, sometimes double what they ordered. This was later proven to be quite intentional- the over-shipments were logged as sales. This happened at the end of each fiscal quarter and sales never looked better at TNF.
Complacent, happy stockholders had no idea what was to come.

Ironically this is still just the tip of this iceberg story, which I'll leave to others who know and are not constrained by NDAs, to reveal.
Here's a hint: check out TNF's stock history around that time .. and just preceding it. As in any case of corruption, the key question to ask, "Qui Bono?"

Throughout all of this it should be noted that the guys at Sportiva, were not involved in any part of TNF's skullduggery. They and the A5 crew remain untarnished by this event. Their integrity was and is always stellar.

Which leads us back to Gary. The mouse that roared.
No, Gary didn't single-handedly take these guys down. That would be from their own criminal misdeeds.
But Gary provided an excellent catalyst that very well could have led to more attention to this case.

Now can anyone here tell me that a board of directors for a corporation is going to have that kind of fortitude?

~Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 9, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
Another Neptunian that is missed.

Pete Steres at the annual Neptunes ski trip to Snowbird. <br/>
Phil, Rolan...
Pete Steres at the annual Neptunes ski trip to Snowbird.
Phil, Roland and Scott in background
Credit: Phil
~ph
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 9, 2013 - 08:43pm PT
I was probably there^^^.
God I miss Pete.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 9, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
Phil...Great picture of Pete...climbed Childhood's End (5.12-) on Big Rock with him back in the 90's. He drank a least a bottle and half of wine the night before at the campground and managed to cruise the crux pitch the next morning. He kinda suffered on the hike back out. :-)
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 9, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
Phil...Great picture of Pete...climbed Childhood's End (5.12-) on Big Rock with him back in the 90's. He drank a least a bottle and half of wine the night before at the campground and managed to cruise the crux pitch the next morning. He kinda suffered on the hike back out. :-)


Thanks Bob,

Yes sir, I know I'm not the only one who misses the heck out of Pete.
So many stories like yours.
He once unleashed an enormous Tarzan yell in one of the fancy restaurants at Snowbird. With the withering stares we received from other patrons, it didn't seem funny at the time. In retrospect it was the best impression of the old movie Tarzan yell I've ever heard.

Pete knew his climbs, climbers and loads of climbing history- such a great guy to run Neptune's book department.

Here's another shot that goes way back.

~ph

Snowbird way back in 1991 or so. Check out those garish jacket colors!...
Snowbird way back in 1991 or so. Check out those garish jacket colors!
F-B, L-R: Jeff, Gary, L.B., Kelly, Phil, Stevie, Jim, Dari, Kyle, Gina, Julie and couple of kids from Doc's Ski and Sports, Corinne(?) and Greg in the rugby shirt.
Credit: Phil
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
This is what this tread should have been from the start: A tribute to Gary, the store and all fine folks who worked there and the great customers that walk through the doors.


If you never been to Neptune's you missed something great...end of an era. Gone!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:04pm PT


Oops!!!...

I REALLY am OFF at the moment...


hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
locker, step away from the glue...........

Who remembers when Pete got stuffed in a snowbank on the way back from dinner (at Snowbird) and left there?

Also, (another gud one)who had a discount there who was not an athlete or employee, and what was the reason given by Gary?
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:14pm PT
Hoss...

did you catch that I had posted the WRONG comment, on the WRONG thread???...

LOL!!!...

My head is STILL spinning a bit I guess...

I'll be REAL HAPPY when I am DONE working tonight...


EDITED:

I also ALMOST fuked up a customers shoe...




"yup, go sit in the car locker..."...

I think at least a FEW here would prefer it be a GAS CHAMBER...

;-)

hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
yup, go sit in the car locker......
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
A bit of a tradition..

Pete Steres- Lodge bouldering at the Bird.
Pete Steres- Lodge bouldering at the Bird.
Credit: Phil
Jim Quirk- Lodge bouldering.
Jim Quirk- Lodge bouldering.
Credit: Phil
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:27pm PT


Not going into detail...

But there are some really COOL people on this Forum and this thread...

and a HUGE and SINCERE...


THANK YOU!!!... along with my own, APOLOGY...

;-)



Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
One more for now..
Gary in his famous Big Bird coat, Bibi, Timbo and Smitty
Gary in his famous Big Bird coat, Bibi, Timbo and Smitty
Credit: Phil

~ph
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:35pm PT
Who remembers when Pete got stuffed in a snowbank on the way back from dinner (at Snowbird) and left there?

Yeppers, that was the night of the Tarzan yell if I remember correctly.
On the way to the Lodge, John Hannon, responding to everyone else's irritation, stuffed Pete headfirst into a snowbank outside the restaurant. As I recall Pete was a pretty dang good sport about it- even despite the scrapes on his face.

Great memories!

Cheers!

~Phil
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:37pm PT
Soooo great to see those pictures!!! :-) Hossjulia, I think the reason was, "she fit well into my lap." But maybe that was someone else. :-)
Locker, glad to hear you are softening a bit....warms my heart. Or perhaps it's the wine? Whatever...........works for me!
pam
lamadrida

Trad climber
Superior, WI
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:38am PT
This is sad news. We have been going every year to Boulder or Estes to climb (from WI). We often stop at Neptune's for this or that piece of forgotten gear or for beta on local climbs. We've always found the staff to be very patient and helpful, on more than one trip enduring someone from our party trying multiple pairs of rock shoes. I too have placed special orders with them and had them offer to ship them to my house.

I've never had a bad experience with Neptune's and always looked forward to my next visit. I find their merchandise to be fairly priced for the most part. I also appreciated that the people who were selling me climbing gear were expedienced climbers.

Lastly, I've been a big fan of both the consignment gear they sold and the climbing museum. They will be missed by me and my family and partners. In my opinion, one of the best climbing shops around.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:15am PT
If you never been to Neptune's you missed something great...end of an era. Gone!

Lastly, I've been a big fan of both the consignment gear they sold and the climbing museum. They will be missed by me and my family and partners.

I think some well-meaning people may be unintentionally making some misleading statements . . . as I understand it, the store's going to stay open, with museum in place. I'm sure the new owners (and Gary who will now work there as an employee) will appreciate everyone's continued patronage.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:24am PT
Locker you really should take Bent Gate up on their 25% offer.
They have the best selection of cod pieces on the Front Range.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:49am PT
they therma-fit liners, right? I should head over and let them hook me up.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Just ask for the PrancerWear section...Tell 'em Christian sent ya! LOL
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 10, 2013 - 11:06am PT
^^^ BWAhahahahahahaha
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 10, 2013 - 11:17am PT
I had them set aside a pink polka dotted Mini-Cod Dandy for you Doug...and your doubly-blackened dorkness!

Walk on in and say firmly "Yes, I am THE GUY. So fetch my Dandy, Cod Caddy."

Soon you too will breeze up Eldorado Canyon feeling the swell of Pioneer's Pride...in a new and novel sort of way.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
why do I believe you?
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
Stay away from the Naked Edge XL Model, it chafes.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
I'm svelte and petite. Size 2. That's XS to you chubsters....
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:25pm PT
The PrancerWear section has several fantasy enhancement mirrors so that you can be as BIG...or small as you like while you pose and work that Cod Caddy until the LOOK and FEEL is JUST RIGHT!
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
Pretty sure that some time around the early 90. Christian/ Verve was making a "Cod piece" type support called the "CG Sling" The idea was to be able to wear the Ghoast Pants without a panty line.

Hank got a confirmation on that?

Prod.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
I thought that was the Caylor Canoe?
Sturdy aluminum sides with upturned ends.
Slick and sleek!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:09pm PT

But Steve, Nature's never worn (or at least in public), his
nice pink thong!!!!!
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:40am PT
The follow up to the Pete stuffing story.

About 20 minutes later I realized he had not made it back to the condo. That plus Pulp Fiction being popped in the VCR made me get up and go look for him.
Found him sitting in the lobby listening to a girl play the grand piano there. He was pissed! He had passed out after being stuffed head first into the snow bank. "You guys left me to die!" or some other such thing came out of his mouth, with a little giggle, he did have a sense of humor after all.

He had a couple of small scrapes on his face, no big deal.

Julliard Music School was having a "retreat" at the same condos. The girl on the piano was fantastic. When she realized she had a small audience, she paused, embarrassed. I asked her her name. "Alanis" is what she said. I said "What?" a couple of times, hard name to get if never heard before and slightly inebriated. She was super good, as we all found out a few years later.


By the time we got back to the condo, the movie was almost over and all the beds were taken, leaving me no place to sleep. Pete was still kinda pissed at the guilty parties and went straight to bed. He had a double to himself, so I crawled in. We drove home together the next day and started dating after that.

I ended up on the discount list at Neptune's after this. Probably because I hauled a truck load of skis back to Boulder, or maybe because of fixing ski poles for Gary, but maybe because of Pete. The reason, "Good Sport". The employee who had to look it up was amazed, he showed it to me, and said he'd never seen that excuse before. I was kind of dumbstruck.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jan 11, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
I guess the 70s have finally come to a grinding halt! It's nice that it took a while.

Somewhere there's a terrific black-and-white photo of Gary standing at his shoe cobbling bench, looking out over his shoulder with a smile; this is probably probably pre-Neptunes at Komito's in Estes Park. He looks happy in his work. I believe he "paid that forward" with things like four-day work weeks and group trips to fun climbing areas. (I once summited Devils Tower to find a gaggle of Nuptunians hanging out eating a watermelon they had hauled up!). Never got to work a stint at the shop: the floor manager during the time period in which I applied deemed me overqualified!


Gary and Bibi skiing in the hills above Boulder a couple years ago:





Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 04:18pm PT
He had passed out after being stuffed head first into the snow bank.

Wow, never knew that part of the story! Thanks for sharing.
~ph

Pete on his lunch break, back in 2000.
Pete on his lunch break, back in 2000.
Credit: Phil
Credit: Phil

Also- great photos and story Tarbuster!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 11, 2013 - 04:26pm PT

"as I understand it, the store's going to stay open, with museum in place. I'm sure the new owners (and Gary who will now work there as an employee) will appreciate everyone's continued patronage."...

Dude has a GUD point...

photo not found
Missing photo ID#254286
...



Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 04:30pm PT
Neptunians loved Kneissl skis!
Neptunians loved Kneissl skis!
Credit: Phil
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 11, 2013 - 04:31pm PT
Shouldn't that be "Kneptunians loved Kneissl skiis"?
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 04:38pm PT
Shouldn't that be "Kneptunians loved Kneissl skiis"?
Errm, yes!

Kneissl's factory in Kufstein was pretty impressive, but Wolfgang, the owner, couldn't figure out why we liked telemark bindings.
"Why do you put my Grandfather's bindings on a modern ski?"

~ph

Former ski shop manager and ski buyer, Chris Clark attacks some Spring...
Former ski shop manager and ski buyer, Chris Clark attacks some Spring snow on the Skyline Traverse.
Credit: Tim Cumbo
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 04:51pm PT
More Neptunian hombres- this time at Flagstaff.

Pete -Purm- Mason
Pete -Purm- Mason
Credit: Phil
Cary Griner
Cary Griner
Credit: Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
A day trip to Butler Gulch with Alex Habeler, son of Peter Habeler, who at seventeen was one of the most-gifted skiers we had ever witnessed.
We were gratified, however, that Alex struggled mightily with the edgeless, double cambered touring skis that Gary put him on that day.
Of course Gary shredded on that same lightweight gear- as usual.
~ph

Mark Cantor, Gary, Alex Habeler and friends.
Mark Cantor, Gary, Alex Habeler and friends.
Credit: Phil
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 11, 2013 - 05:39pm PT

Tami
Did you know Steve Glenn?
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 05:55pm PT
SteveW - Just a reminder that on this thread, it's my husband Phil posting the pix. He worked for Gary from '91 to '00. He'll be back posting more and will answer your question then.

Prod

Trad climber
Jan 11, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
When do we get Tami back?

Prod.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 06:09pm PT
She's in the car.
Hankster

Social climber
Golden, CO
Jan 11, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
Hank got a confirmation on that?

He gave me 2 of those, cool idea and I fully rocked them, but the 88/12 cotton/lycra blend was to much fabric on the part that goes up your a*#crack to be actually wearable. Straight back to commando.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
Did you know Steve Glenn?


Hi Steve. I knew more folks by face than name, so it's possible I've met him,
but I don't remember the name.

~Phil

Here's another early '90s shot from Snowbird.
L-R: Gary, Kyle Tyra and Mike Munger.
L-R: Gary, Kyle Tyra and Mike Munger.
Credit: Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
Continuing the rogue's gallery with a couple of Maine-iacs.
~ph
Luke Gosselin and Roland Fortin
Luke Gosselin and Roland Fortin
Credit: Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 07:13pm PT
Fred is the real life person behind the Tami-character known as Very Skookum Fred.
~ph
Fred Barth during a major snowdump at Butler Gulch.
Fred Barth during a major snowdump at Butler Gulch.
Credit: Phil
Ray Olson relaxing at Butler Gulch
Ray Olson relaxing at Butler Gulch
Credit: Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 07:28pm PT
Luke G
Luke G
Credit: Phil
Eric Scheibler and Luke G: Dinnertime after a big day.
Eric Scheibler and Luke G: Dinnertime after a big day.
Credit: Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
Mark Cantor in the Neptune's offices, eating Neptunian Powerfuel.
Mark Cantor in the Neptune's offices, eating Neptunian Powerfuel.
Credit: ???
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 11, 2013 - 08:27pm PT


^^^

and preparing to tell customers to fuk off???...














































Was that too soon???...

LOL!!!...

Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
Craig B was the only Neptunian to commute to work......

... from North Carolina!
~ph

L-R: Craig Blaney, Dian Frey&#40;background&#41;, Fred Barth at an und...
L-R: Craig Blaney, Dian Frey(background), Fred Barth at an undisclosed location in Northern Colorado.
Credit: Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
Anybody remember this thing?
~ph
Credit: Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
Maybe the nicest bloke besides Brett Ruckman or Fred to work at the sh...
Maybe the nicest bloke besides Brett Ruckman or Fred to work at the shop: Peter Holcombe.
Credit: Phil
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:17pm PT

Phil
I don't think Steve was there then. He'd been working there
1976-78 or so time period.
But thanks--sheesh, I wish I'd been checkin' in there
back then--I wuz shoppin' closer to Denver.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
Phil
I don't think Steve was there then. He'd been working there
1976-78 or so time period.
Steve,
I didn't move to Colorado until 1988. Was Steve Glenn a Neptune staffer?

~Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:36pm PT
Some images from the day of Tami's slideshow in Boulder back in '00:
Pre-show festivities at the Rio: Pete in his element, telling great st...
Pre-show festivities at the Rio: Pete in his element, telling great stories. Tami at right.
Credit: Phil
Stu, Laurelyn and Pete.
Stu, Laurelyn and Pete.
Credit: Phil
John Sherman and Gary's new pen.
John Sherman and Gary's new pen.
Credit: Phil
The first die-hards arrive.
The first die-hards arrive.
Credit: Phil
Tim Cumbo and Pete Steres
Tim Cumbo and Pete Steres
Credit: Phil
Fred Barth, Gary, Craig Luebben, John Sherman
Fred Barth, Gary, Craig Luebben, John Sherman
Credit: Phil
Fred with the bottle of Balvenie that vanished that night. <br/>
Ed holds ...
Fred with the bottle of Balvenie that vanished that night.
Ed holds Tami's newest book.
Credit: Phil
Despite Ed Viestur's show also being on the same night, it was super t...
Despite Ed Viestur's show also being on the same night, it was super to see so many come to Tami's show.
L-R: Jon Krakauer, Tami, Ed Webster, Fred
Credit: Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2013 - 10:53pm PT
Here are a last few random shots for now.

~ph

The old Neptunes shop at Table Mesa.
The old Neptunes shop at Table Mesa.
Credit: Phil

Many old-timers will likely remember Stevie's Winter and Summer VW buses.
The Winter bus had propane heat, which ran out on our return trip from Snowbird this year. We nearly froze our testes off on I-90 coming back through Wyoming. I had never driven a vehicle while wearing a sleeping bag before that trip.
Stevie Sidener's "Winter Bus", circa '91 or '92. <br/>
Jeff Becker is co-p...
Stevie Sidener's "Winter Bus", circa '91 or '92.
Jeff Becker is co-pilot.
Credit: Phil

Fred's awesome coat.
Fred's awesome coat.
Credit: Phil

Dian and Phil &#40;with hair!&#41; in the Neptune offices.
Dian and Phil (with hair!) in the Neptune offices.
Credit: Phil
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 11, 2013 - 11:42pm PT

Phil
Steve was, back in 1976 to maybe 1978. I went to visit him
one day (this was when the store was on 28th st), leaned on
the counter and started chatting, looked down, and I was on
the cover of On Belay!
Now that was a surprise!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Jan 12, 2013 - 10:54am PT
Phil. Thanks for the memories! You're gonna have to get your own account here sir ;)

That troll was masterful indeed. I recognized it right away but only becuase I had seen the letter posted before. (Greg@mountainproject, greg@widefetish) The way he re-worded it was hilarious!
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 12, 2013 - 11:41am PT
Hey! Those Ramer shortcuts in that ski shot back there a ways are mine! I know because of the white plastic heel piece. Still have them. That was a demo pair I scrapped together at the Ramer shop, and that white heel piece was all we had left. It is softer than the black. (Plastic critical binding part. Bad idea.) I have not skied them since they pitched me down Hangman's at Mammoth in '98.
I had them tuned right before I moved at TNF when it was next to Neptune's in Table Mesa and they f*#ked them up, making them base high. I had not really checked them out until I felt that edge slide out from under me and pitch me headfirst toward the rocks. Managed to yank myself around, with much cussing, and hit the rocks with my ass instead.
Never could fix them, 1mm of daylight at the edges, it's hard to scrape off that much p-tex without running through the base, so now they are part of my Ramer museum.


(This has turned into a great thread, thanks Phil and Roy for the pictures.)
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Jan 12, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Phil, great pics! I was working at the Profiteer during some of those years and had fun with many of the suspects from Neptune's.

Did you guys ever help that guy that needed a left-thread ice screw we sent over?
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
Steve was, back in 1976 to maybe 1978. I went to visit him
one day (this was when the store was on 28th st), leaned on
the counter and started chatting, looked down, and I was on
the cover of On Belay!
Now that was a surprise!

Great story Steve! The 28th St. store goes way back.

I should have looked on Neptune's alumni list- of course Steve Glenn is there. When we built the original Neptune website, Pammy was a major contributor to this list- she's the best Neptune historian going besides Gary himself.

~Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Hey! Those Ramer shortcuts in that ski shot back there a ways are mine! I know because of the white plastic heel piece. Still have them.
...


Thank you for the story! I'm sorry that my memory isn't any better and I have forgotten so much. (Thank God for fotos, huh?) I'll bet I'd recognize you instantly if I saw you though. :-)

The pieces of the story of Pete at Snowbird, the Tarzan yell, the snowbank and what followed all came together here- probably for the first time.

~ph
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
I can't place you either, Phil. (Phil, Phil, I know I know who that is, but......Pete would be all like, of COURSE you know Phil!)

But that looks like the load of skis I took back to Boulder with the first group, probably '95?
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
This IS a great thread! I've never heard of Neptunes but I love the history and this represents the best of what Stuportopo provides. Great to to see it last through the sludge that has killed so many other potentially great threads. And any thread Tarbuster contributes to (a rarer occurrence these days) is a reflection of the integrity shown here. Keep it going!
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 12, 2013 - 03:18pm PT


What a GREAT line!!!...

LOL!!!...

and of course, TRUE!!!...


"Internet forums are largely driven by a combination of boredom and pleasures derived from the misfortunes of others"...
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Jan 12, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
mostly what was required was a sense of humor.
I am quickly learning that this is the case most places in this world. You have done an excellent job portraying your experiences at Neptune's and giving some life to the name for the clueless (like me).
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
Phil, great pics! I was working at the Profiteer during some of those years and had fun with many of the suspects from Neptune's.

Did you guys ever help that guy that needed a left-thread ice screw we sent over?

Todd,

I think I remember you. Were you at BoMo when Ralph Imbrognio worked there?
You probably remember those green sweatshirts Gary had printed.

The rivalry between the two shops was actually one of the most humorous aspects about the Boulder scene in those days. At Neptunes, it was, by and large, very light-hearted and not very contentious. Everybody there had big respect for Bob.
Also- Gary really did believe that there was plenty of market to be shared between the shops.

As for the left-thread ice screw- that also sounds quite familiar- good example of the mischief that was enjoyed.

Thanks for this! Makes me smile!

~Phil
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
...the elite thing is BS.
I see 3 matches for "elite" in this thread - 2 in your post above and one in mine upthread in the context of "elite town" - Boulder...

I think it's cool when people find a family and enjoy life. Love to see it. However, except for the slideshows, I'm failing to see how these activities were of any benefit to the larger climbing community, as claimed in many posts...
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
Hey Phil, thanks for all your great pics and stories!

This is a great thread.

I remember when Derek Hersey got the idea for climbing the Diamond, solo, in winter. He had no gear for this so Gary quietly gave him all kinds of expensive, top-quality winter gear. Poor Derek was a bit out of his element but Gary was totally supportive.

Derek's first attempt, he lugged a huge, monstrously heavy haul bag full of all the food and gear and stuff, all the way in and stashed it on the Boulderfield, ready for rapping to Broadway. He stumbled out in the dark and hitch-hiked back to Boulder for a few days to rest up. He had no car, so the logistics were not easy. He found a ride with someone and was about to head back up when he got a phone call, "Hey, we rescued your haul bag! Man, it was heavy but we brought everything back down for you; we got it safe and sound--in Fort Collins....."

Derek was horrified. He now had to go recover the bag from Fort Collins before he could even start over. The poor guys who'd brought it down thought they'd done a HUGE favor to someone and were expecting much thanks, at least; there was much sheepishness all round.

Much of that winter was spent with several exhausting forays up and down, before Derek finally called it quits. Gary's generosity benefitted Derek for years--he had lots of cold weather gear for many further adventures.

Quite possibly Gary never really expected Derek to succeed on the Diamond (few of us did, really), but saw in Derek the kind of raw, free-spirited, devil-may-care climber that deserved support, a fellow iconoclast.

Gary's generosity came with no strings.

I think the monster sleeping bag was inherited by Strappo, who, in turn used it for many more adventures.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:18pm PT
However, except for the slideshows, I'm failing to see how these activities were of any benefit to the larger climbing community, as claimed in many posts...


OK.

Gary was always a big supporter of the Access Fund, sponsored multiple cleanups at Flagstaff (Christian's Flagstaff Cleanups), his own old slings and webbing cleanups at Eldo- and lots more that Gary did pretty quietly and many I can't remember at the moment.
I was, however, privy to very many local expedition and individual sponsorships. The discount list at the shop became a major section of the staff manual.
In the ten years I worked there this was ongoing- so I don't have an authoritative list of everything Gary has done for the 'larger' community.

Clearly you have your mind made up and that really is fine. However your knowledge of what Gary has or hasn't done for the community is incomplete at best.

~ph



Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:25pm PT
Quite possibly Gary never really expected Derek to succeed on the Diamond (few of us did, really), but saw in Derek the kind of raw, free-spirited, devil-may-care climber that deserved support, a fellow iconoclast.

Gary's generosity came with no strings.


Thanks Crunch,

Spot-on and brilliantly stated. It was true, Gary had no expectations of what Derek would achieve on the Diamond but 'success' wasn't really the point of it.

~ph
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
Ron and I lived across the street from Gary for a year? Maybe a little more? What a gas that was. Neat stuff on the walls, Gary's 50th birthday party, having a fake rock thrown at you when you come in the door, a bouldering cave in the garage, good wine, food and folks.

The slide shows at Neptune's were pretty much my only social life.

I never worked there, but he always invited me to the Snowbird trips. Not Ron, just me ;->

Elitist? Boulder for sure, big reason why I left, but Gary? and Neptune's? Nope. A couple of the bigger names he had work for him, yeah.....
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:55pm PT
Gary was always a big supporter of the Access Fund...

http://www.accessfund.org/site/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b.5000715/k.22D5/Financials.htm

Shows 2001-2011. In 2010, 2011 Neptune gave in $500-$999 range. All the other years listed - nothing.

...did pretty quietly and many I can't remember at the moment.

Neither can I...
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:20pm PT
I left Neptunes in 2000, so I can't speak for what the shop has done since that time. Previous to that Gary did support the Access Fund. I know. I was there at the meetings at Gary's shop.
If support for the Access Fund is your primary measure of 'contributions to the larger community' then Neptunes is clearly not the shop for you.

What becomes increasingly obvious with each of your posts is the very personal nature of your rancor.

But my statement still stands, your knowledge of Gary's contributions is incomplete.

~ph



Prod

Trad climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
"Hey, we rescued your haul bag! Man, it was heavy but we brought everything back down for you; we got it safe and sound--in Fort Collins....."

F*#king classic. I can nearly hear him now, that had to be a great rant!

Thanks for the story,

Prod.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
The only thing that annoys me about your posts is confusing what is obviously a pretty good man and a personal friend with someone who was a pillar to the community and made sacrifices for it. I don't see Gary as someone who crossed that line. All I see is all about him and his crew. Further, there seems to be some kind of insistance that he be respected as a great giver to the community. To place him with the likes of the guys who actually volunteer hours (make that years in a few cases...) for the AF, do cleanups, bolt replacements, etc - it's kind of annoying to me - even more so as this thread wears on. If you just didn't cross that line...
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
Gary sponsored one of the first bolt replacements at Eldo- that was spearheaded by David Brewster as I recall. Thanks for reminding me.

Your logic seems to indicate that if YOU didn't see it, hear it or know about it, then it didn't happen. And that is patently false.

The point myself and others here are making is that many of the things Gary did for the community were not exercises in public relations and self-promotion.

What about the other points I made that you couldn't argue semantics with? What about that huge discount list in Gary's shop manual? Are those people not part of the larger community?
Sheesh, what about the huge list of people he employed in that forty years? Are they part of the larger community?

Did anyone here indicate that Gary is a 'Pillar of the community'? Gary himself would laugh his ass off at that statement.

Maybe you could take that line of thinking in a more positive vein- why not start a thread about your heroes in the Boulder community? Highlight their accomplishments.
Or is it more fun to take the piss on someone that you perceive has failed you and your community?

Maybe you could reveal the thing that stepped on your own toes so badly. It's clear that you take any celebration of Gary's business in this thread as personally offensive.

~ph



JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
What about that huge discount list in Gary's shop manual?
Dude - Gary's bro-deal book - you were serious?

I've stated my point. Carry on.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
The only thing that annoys me about your posts

Lol early leader for the 2013 Bag-O-Dicks Nomination.

DMT
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:09pm PT
Lol early leader for the 2013 Bag-O-Dicks Nomination.

Hey, how do I gen in on that?

Prod.
Hankster

Social climber
Golden, CO
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
What about that huge discount list in Gary's shop manual?

That "shop manual" was sweeeeet!!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:13pm PT

Julia
I've got an OLD pair of Ramer bindings too--the serial number on
mine is 0002.
I don't know why I keep them, I've never been much of a skier.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 07:20pm PT

I've stated my point. Carry on.

Idea: Why not just go speak your point(s) to the actual Gary Neptune?

He is a real living person, not some anonymous internet avatar. It's not like you don't know where to find him!!!!! Hahahahaha!
He's actually pretty easy to deal with unless you're just a total ass.

Think of it as the JLP Challenge. It's how they used to do things in the old days- when you had a gripe you went and talked to the person rather than sniping them from afar. Grown man sh#t.

Or whatever. Carry on yourself.

~ph


John M

climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 07:37pm PT
Phil, thanks for the great stories. I really appreciated what you said about him running his store his way. Even if that meant losing customers. He had his ideals and that was that. I can understand that and I could understand how that might rub some folks the wrong way. I also really like that he treated his employees well. I had a boss who would take us waterskiing very early in the morning. That made a big difference in ones work experience.

Thanks for the great stories and the background. I enjoy seeing the pictures.


...

As for as the internet. I would advise not answering everyone. You likely wont change some folks minds. Even if you acknowledge their points.
Alpinist07

Mountain climber
Nashville, TN
Jan 12, 2013 - 07:44pm PT
The new owner would be smart to take their time in making any changes. Observe what makes Neptune's Unique and what has put them on the map. Quick changes can result sometimes in unexpected disaster. There's more to running a business than what you can read on a spreadsheet or going over the books. Gary has built a classic shop and has a loyal customer base.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 12, 2013 - 07:44pm PT
End of an era, or maybe period, or is it erathem,...epoch? I say we cannonize Gary.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 07:53pm PT
Thanks JohnM,

Changing people's minds on the internet has never been a preoccupation.

JLP and others who seem to only want to steer the subject back to their own soapboxes appear self-entitled and petty.

My comment stands for anybody: If you've got that degree of a beef with someone or a business, why not address it directly? Whether it's better financial support for the Access Fund or whatever the gripe. Particularly Gary Neptune. He's more than man enough to take it.

Anybody who knows anything about Gary knows he's an old-fashioned bloke.
If JLP were to go see him directly he could probably resolve all his issues. But it's obvious that he would rather take snide potshots from the internet. To me it's pretty weak sauce and I'll bet Gary would feel the same.

Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated.
Maybe others can post some better climbing shots and stories from the Neptune crew. Mine suck.

~ph


Edit: Even if the slideshows were the 'only' thing Gary contributed to the community- that was in itself huge. Gary poured money into those shows over the years, far beyond waht other business would do.
These shows, as Julia noted earlier, became a staple of Boulder Thursday nights. These shows didn't simply benefit community- they actually created community.


The big hope now is that the new owners of the business feel as strongly as Gary did about bringing in great shows and presenters.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 08:01pm PT
I say we cannonize Gary.

Too late!


;-)

~ph
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jan 12, 2013 - 08:33pm PT
JLP is a weasel, a whining little Boulder brat.

How in f*#k can some little weasel who has done nothing for climbing come down hard on a community legend like Gary?

Fecking internet!!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 12, 2013 - 08:35pm PT
What if Gary doesn't want to be a human cannonball?
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
What if Gary doesn't want to be a human cannonball?
Then we'll just have to go climbing or skiing.

Anders- Neptune probably still stocks Norwegian sweaters. There were several brands when I was there, not just Dale. Nordstrikk maybe?
Probably can get other Weegie stuff too. Maybe even a caribou hide.

~Phil


Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Jan 15, 2013 - 07:44pm PT
Austin, Texas-based Backwoods acquired Boulder, Colo.-based Neptune Mountaineering on Dec. 31 for an undisclosed amount.
Neptune Founder Gary Neptune will remain on staff to help with the transition. Neptune recently chatted with SNEWS about the sale.


//Both family-owned companies originally opened in 1973.
What is the significance of the sale on the business?//

Weíll see. For me itís a step in the direction of eventually being retired. As you know from the release, Iím keeping the museum and Iím still working here doing a lot of the things ó especially during a transition period ó but surely they wonít need me anymore at some point. Iím looking forward to a lot of fun and a lot of work. Backwoods will be able to bring a lot of things to this store that we could never do as a single store. Theyíre going to be able to improve a lot of things we havenít been able to do very well.

What kinds of things will they be able to do that you couldn't?

For instance, they do Internet retailing. You can do that when you have multiple stores, but single shops almost canít do it. Itís really, really tough and drains a huge amount of energy and money ó a lot of stores have tried it and given up after they realized that. Thatís an obvious one. Exactly how they use our store versus what theyíve already got going? [You'd have to] talk to them about the future there. ... They will have the ability to do what buying groups do. They have nine stores now, and thatís a certain economy of scale.

What will happen with the current staff at Neptune Mountaineering?

They will remain on. Inevitably staff will change because thereís a lot of turnover with young people who are in school. Plus, some people are going to like the new roles theyíre being given and will be able to do a better job and get better training.

How long has this deal been in the works?

Two different answers: Some years ago Iíd promised my wife by the time I was 70 Iíd have sold the store or have it in the works or something, because weíve got to have a few good years together. I began telling anybody who wanted to know, "Sure, Iím always for sale," but I hadnít taken any structured steps in that direction.
Then we finally started getting more serious about it recently. As far as Backwoods goes, itís just a stroke of luck that we connected. They were beginning to look at expanding in the Rockies, and we were getting serious about selling the business in some fashion. This just ended up seeming like a really excellent fit.

What drew you to Backwoods?

They have a great reputation in the industry. Since we announced the sale, all kinds of people have talked to me and Iíve heard nothing but good about them. I think theyíre great people, they drive a good hard bargain because theyíre business people, but theyíre also very human. I like the fact that itís a family-owned business.
Another thing that can tie in well with this business is their adventure travel division. Thatís one of those many things that I thought about doing for years ó but, again, itís a whole other business and I didnít have the resources to do it.

How will the store change?

Staff will be able to do a better job because theyíll be given the tools that will help them. I think it will be a good thing for everybody ó consumers and everybody in the loop.

What are you most looking forward to about retirement?

Iím not even thinking that far ahead. Itís going to be a while. Like I said, I've still got the museum here and they want me to help out with the slide shows and the promotional things, possibly some training with other stores. There's a whole string of things like that that Iím still going to be doing. It will be a bit of an evolutionary process to see where I best fit in and where I donít want to interfere.

What kind of changes does this mean for your long-time customers?

I donít think it means a whole lot of change. Theyíll still be getting what they always came here to get. Theyíll see improvement, if anything. There will be more accurate stocking and goods and more sophisticated training of staff in terms of merchandising. Those are things Iíve wanted to do better and improve over the years, but never to the degree Iíd have liked to. These are all subtle changes that will happen slowly. Honestly, I donít think a lot of customers are going to realize it happened.

--Compiled by Ana Trujillo


WTF

climber
Jan 15, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
Gary should have doped like lance that's how you get popular apparently.

The place rocked I always found it to be just fine and I spent plenty of money in there.

People are nice and well you get back what you project IMO.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 15, 2013 - 08:13pm PT


Credit: locker
...

Credit: locker
...

Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Jan 15, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
Oh well. Spend money there in the future and you'll be supporting business in what may well be the most bigoted, mysogynistic, gun-happy, flat-out deplorable states in the union

arizona...
Somehow in the bubble

Big Wall climber
Colorado
Jan 16, 2013 - 04:30pm PT
I saw this thread a few days ago and thought it was just another rumor. I stopped by the store a couple of days ago and they were closed for inventory. I was really concerned at that point and stopped by again today and they were open and things looked the same but spoke with one of the employees about the buy out and it is very real. I hope the employees will stay the same and we do not end up with another REI. I looked at the Backwoods website and the gear is very REI. That would be sad to see that stuff in such a cool shop. It looks like another corporate take over that will cost the Boulder people again.
cary

climber
Jan 16, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
PH
Thanks for all,it was a great place to work at for so long.Pam,I hope you are doing well. Sorry so many people did not know it like we did. Cant make em all happy. Look at Luke and scrubby having fun at snowbird. Those are the good times I remember. Do your best and try and make people happy is what we were told.Sorry for those of you who had a bad experience,that was not the our intention at all.
Keep at it if you can...

Griner
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 16, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
It's pretty apropo really. Backwoods is based in Austin. Austin has long been known as "Baja Boulder."
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 16, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
Ramer?

Credit: nature

still riding them...
perswig

climber
Jan 16, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
On Tua's?

Dale
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 16, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
Rossi Audace's
Captain...or Skully

climber
Jan 16, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
Austin sucks.

Hey Tami, you've got to stop channeling Phil. It's freakin' me out.
purm

climber
Jan 20, 2013 - 04:10am PT
hey phil,
thanks for all the cool memories. Thanks to Pam, CG, as well. It was awesome working with you all- great crew in the late '90s- Clark, Scheibler, Sutton, Luke, Ro, Pierre, TC. Gary's positive influence on the climbing community far outweighs any blog negativity people can drum up. I remember him taking cash out of the register to fill the jar at slideshows that weren't so popular, and awesome christmas parties with the Neptune fam (and many other dinners and parties) for all of us who gave up proximity to our families to climb and ski. Not to mention 4 day work weeks, snowbird, bonuses for climbing (how cool is that?), testing skis, camping, travelling, 14ers... From what I witnessed employees were psyched to work there and generally psyched to help out customers (ie pam's comments earlier) Hope everyone is still psyched- cranking, shredding, and generally getting after it outdoors!

purm
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 20, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
Howdy Cary and Pete!
Thanks for you posts, much appreciated and good to hear from you guys.

I've been digging through boxes I haven't been through in well over ten years and I keep finding more memories.

I'm still looking for my photo with Pam and Jack in their Hawaiian shirts...

~ph

PS- Nature- Nice foto!

Here's a shot of Neptunian Cindy Trotter that is one of my favorites:
Cindy Trotter
Cindy Trotter
Credit: ???
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 20, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
Here's another quick set of Neptunian Karen K. in her element.
~ph

Karen Kovaly in Northern Colorado.
Karen Kovaly in Northern Colorado.
Credit: Phil

Karen in deep powder.
Karen in deep powder.
Credit: Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 20, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
Night skiing with Dian and Chris in 1997.

Ready for some hot chocolate. Dian Frey and Chris Clark.
Ready for some hot chocolate. Dian Frey and Chris Clark.
Credit: Phil
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jan 20, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
Thanks for all the great reminiscing.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 20, 2013 - 02:46pm PT
Thanks Philo, glad you're enjoying it!
~ph

Chris Clark and Jim Smith with Richthofen over their shoulders.
Chris Clark and Jim Smith with Richthofen over their shoulders.
Credit: Phil
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