Mountain Sports Flagstaff: Local. Life. Style.
Mountain Sports was founded on a love of skiing and adventuring in the outdoors. Brothers Mark and Bruce Lamberson started the company in 1973 and the tradition of a familyowned and operated business is still alive today as Lisa, Mark's daughter, is now the owner and operator of Mountain Sports Flagstaff.
At Mountain Sports, the vibe is always warm and welcoming. They consider themselves a community space for locals and travelers alike and the store operates like a gathering spot, one well located in the heart of Downtown Flagstaff.
To bring attention to their nearly 45 years in business, and to share this amazing story, we asked Lisa the following 7 questions:
Why did your dad start the business? How is it different now?
Mountain Sports was founded on a love of adventuring and the outdoors. My father Mark and Uncle Bruce started the company in 1973 in Casper, Wyoming and expanded to Flagstaff in 1980.
Mark reminds me there was no such thing as Outdoor Stores back then. He says it was amazing to be a participant in mountain biking and snowboarding as those sports and industries were developing.
Retail has evolved with the advent of the internet and online shopping, but we remain true to our roots of providing exceptional, helpful, hometown customer service.
What makes you proud of your business?
I’m proud to carry on the legacy my father and uncle built and to be a part of the outdoor industry. I’m also incredibly honored to partner with Patagonia. Their commitment to environmental organizations, their innovative product development and their commitment to sustainable practices inspires us and allows us to make great impacts globally and locally thru our retail partnership.
What do you feel is your greatest success with MS?
I think our greatest success is our family legacy in Flagstaff and ability to work together as a family for these 40 plus years. To have a company that I WANT to work hard daily to further our impact on the community while selling excellent products is an amazing opportunity. I feel fortunate to work with my Dad and have access to his ideas and longtime experience in retail. He’s an amazing mentor and a wonderful father.
How do you feel local businesses like yours contribute to a vibrant Flagstaff and to the Arizona experience?
I think our biggest impact comes from our participation in 1% for the Planet. We give 1% of all sales to local environmental and conservation organizations. By granting a portion of every sale we are able to give meaningful donations to passionate local organizations like Terra BIRDS, Grand Canyon Youth, Flagstaff Biking Organization, Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery and Willow Bend to name a few. It’s also allowed me to develop wonderful relationships with these organizations and see firsthand the impact that they have in our mountain town.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for independent businesses in Arizona and how do you address this challenge?
Independent businesses nationwide are challenged with competing with the internet. The selection, pricing, and convenience can’t be matched by indie retailers. But we can absolutely provide an experience you can’t get sitting at home on the computer. To touch, feel, interact, try on and have the expertise of our staff is something you will never get online and we work diligently to provide the best retail experience for each of our customers.
What is one thing that your dad taught you about business that you have never forgotten?
“If you listen to your customers, you will be successful”. I do my best to bring in the best products and have an awesome staff, but we’re always open to evolution and change thru open dialog with our supporters. If the community is looking to Mountain Sports Flagstaff to be a certain thing, we much explore those ideas and continue to evolve.
What is your favorite local business?
That’s a tough one, as I think we have so many great local businesses from outdoor stores to boutiques and home decor. Recently I have been frequenting the Flagstaff General Store as I live in a 1930’s house that my husband and I are enjoying restoring and furnishing complimentary to the era.