Berg's Ski & Snowboard Shop History
Berg's Ski & Snowboard Shop - 56 years of tradition in our community
Berg's Ski and Snowboard Shop is a small, family-owned business that has been dedicated to providing superior customer service and products for over 56 years. While other shops may cover a wide range of sports, Berg's carries skiing and snowboarding equipment, winter apparel, and all related accessories exclusively. Our staff is made up of people who ski and snowboard themselves, and we have literally decades of experience and knowledge about skiing and snowboarding. We love to help our customers find the equipment and accessories that will best suit their needs.
The history of Berg's Ski and Snowboard Shop actually begins with Alfred (Al) Berge, who lived on the family farm in Helleland, Norway. In 1928 at the age of 18, Al, who spoke no English, left everything and everyone behind and boarded a steamer to chase the American dream. After short stays in Montana, Alaska, and Klamath Falls, Al settled in Eugene, Oregon a couple of years later.
In 1940, Al opened Berg's Shell Station at 13th & Lawrence in Eugene and married Emma Strand, a fellow hard-working North Dakota Norwegian. Dale was born later that same year and Paul followed in 1943. Dale and Paul inherited the Norwegian work ethic, constantly hearing, "Ya, ya, dat looks good . . . but do it again." Al was a stickler for perfection and taught his boys to do their very best, to take their time, and to really serve people like they would want to be served.
Berg's Nordic Ski Shop opened its doors in January 1955, selling downhill & cross country ski equipment. Dale, Paul, and Emma basically ran the ski shop, while Al stayed in the background and continued to work at the gas station. Dale and Paul both worked at the shop after school each day until closing and on weekends. They would sell the hard goods - skis, boots, poles, etc. - while Emma would outfit customers head-to-toe in the latest ski clothing. The family's high level of commitment and service made the shop a place where people knew they would receive great service and be a valued customer.
In 1975, the Bergs closed the gas station and devoted all their time and efforts to the ski shop. Over the years, the product selection expanded to include all things related to skiing. The shop experimented briefly with other types of sporting goods, but soon realized that specializing in ski equipment made Berg's unique, so we officially became dedicated to exclusively selling ski equipment.With the addition of snowboarding in 1987, Berg's officially changed its name to Berg's Ski and Snowboard Shop. Snowboarding revolutionized the industry and the shop brought on snowboarding expert, Mike Hayden, to create and expand the snowboarding department. The department continues to expand today and is currently run by pro rider, Ryan Fickenscher.
Berg's currently carries a wide range of equipment, including downhill, freestyle, cross country, backcountry, alpine touring, telemark, snowboard, skate, and snowshoes, along with a full line of clothing and accessories. We also have an internet sales department, as well as a complete rental program. We continue to adapt to our customers needs, while maintaining our original vision of superior customer service combined with the best available products at the lowest possible prices.
After 56 years, Berg's Ski and Snowboard Shop is still a family affair. Dale and Paul continue to be involved in the day-to-day operation of the shop. Dale's son, Svein, currently runs the Downhill Department, Paul's wife, Brenda, helps with the bookkeeping, while his daughter, Tory, works in the internet department. Paul's other daughter, Buffy, bakes special cookies for the shop during the Christmas season.
There is one thing that sets Berg's apart and makes it special - our employees. The commitment of our employees is really unparalleled, and we consider them all family. Our fabulous manager, Chris Stowell, has worked at the shop for 25 years and is the backbone of Berg's. Over the years, the Berg "family" has included some wonderful people who return year after year to help during the winter rush. Our staff has over 200 years of combined experience in the ski and snowboard industry.
In the past, Berg's has actively supported the Eugene community, and continues to do so today. Starting with Al as a charter member of the Sons of Norway lodge in 1950, Berg's continues to support many groups in the Eugene area. Dale is actively involved in the Oregon Red Cross, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Oregon Track Club, Altair, and many other organizations. In addition, Berg's actively supports the Relief Nursery, the Rotary, High School Ski Teams, and the Boy Scouts. Berg's believes that investing in the community is vital to a strong social climate and that giving is more important than receiving.
Customers come back to Berg's time and time again because they know they will receive honest and thoughtful customer service. Dale and Paul are deeply committed to hard work and excellent customer service, and it can be seen every day at the ski shop. Our customers rely on the fact that our employees really know the ski and snowboard industry, as well as our products. We test them, ride them, and buy them ourselves. We stand behind our products, prices, and service, and believe our customers work hard for their money and should get the appropriate equipment at the best possible price.
Some things never really change at Berg's. As you walk through our door, time seems to stand still as you smell the melting wax and see our red shag carpet. You still get homemade signs and someone to help you carry your gear out. You'll see more product lines today than in 1955, but you'll still get the same friendly, quality service that you've come to expect. For over 56 years, Berg's Ski and Snowboard Shop has called 13th & Lawrence in Eugene home, and we look forward to serving our customers with superior service and the best products, along with honesty and integrity, for at least 50 more.