Skiers stuck in traffic on Colorado's I-70 may notice Ski Country Antiques just off the highway in Evergreen. The shop is a world apart from the post-industrial jam in which they sit. Adorning the interior walls of the log cabin is a sea of handmade woodworkings and antique ski paraphernalia-it's a veritable history museum of skiing and the mountains.
Skier Brian Kleinwachter started the business six years ago in Breckenridge, Colo., collecting mostly antique skis and sleds. Soon, he had generated enough business to hire his younger brother Erik as a craftsman and his sister Jody as an artist and store merchandiser. The Kleinwachters have been dealing in antiques since 1978, when they worked in their parents' furniture business in Illinois. "We've been making furniture since we can remember," say the brothers. The shop is packed with wintry memorabilia dating back to the early 1800s, conveying a history of world wars and ski-gear evolutions. Although they specialize in old skis, sleds and snowshoes, you'll also find buffalo fur backpacks from the 10th Mountain Division and enormous rocking chairs made by Tubbs snowshoes in the Fifties. The Mountain Lodge and Cabin section is full of antique fishing rods, reels and nets. Erik's new and converted works take up their fair share of the shop. He transforms old sleighs into love seats and canoe halves into bookshelves, and also builds faux-antique cabinets from scratch. Jody adorns many of the pieces with tasteful faux finishes.
The store's antiques may be old, but they're not collecting dust. The Kleinwachters moved the business from Breckenridge a year ago to boost their square-footage to 5,500 feet. So far the move has been a hit.
For directions to Ski Country Antiques, call 303-675-4666. Or to view a sampling of the current inventory, visit www.skicountryantiques.com.