Popular business expanding

  • Ridgway Adventure Sports owners Amanda Swain and Andy Persio work in their shop in Ridgway. Photo by Carolina Brown.
    Ridgway Adventure Sports owners Amanda Swain and Andy Persio work in their shop in Ridgway. Photo by Carolina Brown.

Ridgway Adventure Sports is expanding its offerings and its space, within a few months of celebrating its one-year anniversary of opening for business.

The sporting goods store started renting electric bikes this year and will now begin ski-tuning services for this winter in the shop. Owners Amanda Swain and Andy Persio used to do this in their home garage, but now will be able to offer it in the shop after a recent expansion.

The couple started coming to the area in the 1990s to visit family and for school, and noticed in fall 2017 the town no longer had an outdoor gear shop. At that time, they decided it was “now or never” to make their dream come true, and came back and toured the Fort Smith building at 109 N. Lena St., where they ended up signing a lease. This is one of the more recognizable buildings in town for tourists, particularly those who came to see sites from the original John Wayne “True Grit” movie, as it is featured prominently in the film.

And now, a little more than a year after celebrating the opening of the shop, Swain and Persio are taking another step forward with their business. The store expanded into a space formerly occupied by a neighboring massage therapist, which allows winter gear specialist Gary Ryan to perform ski tuning on-site. The space will also allow RAS to provide movie screenings and classes to the community.

The shop serves both tourists and locals who enjoy the outdoors and need gear, tune-ups or advice on where to find the best trails. Staff offers personalized recommendations on what to do and where to go in the area, to those who rent out bikes in the summer or recreational equipment for snow in the winter.

Alpine touring and cross-country skis, snowshoes and fat tire bikes, which are made for use in the snow, can all be reserved online now through the business website, a new offering.

The business owners have even more plans for expansion next summer. These plans include mobile bike repair and tune-ups from a van set up in Ouray and Silverton, which will be available a few days every month of the summer.

The shop offers online registration for bike rentals, which will switch to ski rentals as the seasons shift. Check out the website ridgwayadventuresports.com for more information on rental equipment.