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Rainy Day for Snow Business on the Pike

by ARLnow.com March 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm 3,936 39 Comments

After more than 40 years in business, Ski Chalet is packing up and heading west.

The Columbia Pike landmark will serve its last customers on Sunday. The store is moving to a new, larger location next to the Home Depot in Seven Corners.

General Manager Ryan Sasse said the store has been doing well financially and is moving into a bigger space so it can start marketing patio furniture next to snowboards and ski jackets during the summer. Despite continued redevelopment on the Pike, Sasse says rising rent hasn’t been a concern.

Ski Chalet has been located in an Alpine-style building at 2704 Columbia Pike since 1969. It will reopen in Seven Corners at some point this fall.

Sasse says he is not sure what will eventually take the store’s place on the Pike.

  • SoArlRes

    Dr. Dremo’s!!!

    • KA


    • South Arlington

      First thing that popped into my head also! Dremo’s!

    • Arlingtonian

      Yes please

    • Southside

      The perfect Dremo’s space–start the grass roots effort today!

    • steve

      I emailed him, and others too, we found out the owner of the property and Dr. Dremos is sending them a letter expressing his interest in that particular real estate. No idea how this will turn out. But he’s aware.

  • wow, that’s really sad – my parents lived on the pike in the mid-late ’70s, and when i recently moved there, they kept commenting on how the ski chalet has been there forever. that said, i’m excited about all of the new business coming to the area.

  • South Arlington

    On a semi-related note, does anyone know if after hours parking in their lot is allowed (or will be allowed after Ski Chalet’s closure)? The Twisted Vines lot fills up sometimes and it would be nice to have a backup parking lot if needed.

    • CrystalMikey

      Can you park at The Halstead?

  • Captain Obvious

    Scott, that headline implies that the Pike has been bad for the Ski Chalet’s business, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case at all.

    • Lou

      I don’t see that at all.

    • It implies that it’s a sad day for anybody who buys their ski equipment from that part of the Pike.

      • Arlington, Northside


      • Good time


    • OX4

      Actually seems like a good day for them if they need more room. Seven Corners is what, 10 minutes away?

      • Lou

        Not by trolley.

        • Neighbor


  • SoCo Resident

    First Bob’s Big Boy (Major RIP) is replaced by Rite Aid, now the Ski Chalet gone. But, it looks like things are starting to “happen” on Columbia Pike! Truly sad when a business of 40 years says goodbye to a neighborhood though.

    • Arlington, Northside


  • 1234

    My understanding is that they were acquired last year by a year-round sporting goods company — I guess the footprint wasn’t appropriate for that model. Much as I’ll miss the convenience, that building could use some aesthetic attention.

    • FrenchyB

      Agreed – the facade along Columbia Pike is crumbing quite a bit; hopefully it will be updated soon.

  • 1234

    Now that I think about it, I believe the owner of the business owns not just the building but a good piece of the rest of the block — not just the rowing/ski rental/co-op, but Asni and potentially the wierd statue shop down to the Vet. This might be an interesting opportunity for redevelopment of that whole strip.

    • South Arlington

      I’d read on Pike Town Center that Journey Yoga was thinking of moving over to Penrose Square also, opening up another spot in that strip.

    • FrenchyB

      The owners of the Ski Chalet property also own one of the buildings on Edgewood (the one with the garage doors in the middle), as well as a house on the Cleveland St. side of the block. A different entity owns the Ledo’s/Wig store buildings, and the Ethiopian market at the south end of the block. A third entity owns Arlington Animal Hospital, the statue store, and the odd convenience store/t-shirt shop.

    • Arlingtonian

      That statue shop freaks me out

      • Tabby

        You mean the Jesus candle store?

      • LBSki

        Totally creepy. Especially when walking home after a few drinks down the street.

    • Josh S

      Well, after reading other posts, this is apparently not possible. But, boy, is it needed. This block has the most depressing series of facades and the sidewalk is far too narrow. The whole thing should start over. Could maybe even get some on-street parking there which would be awesome and start to make this stretch feel like the real neighborhood that it should / could be.

      • Arlington, Northside

        The sidewalk was much wider when the building was built, the widening of Columbia Pike took up a lot of the sidewalk about twenty years ago.

  • JohnnyValencia

    What does this mean for my unused Ski Chalet groupon? Do i get to join the class action lawsuit against them?

    • There are two other locations in the area that are still open.

  • Use the snow Luke

    DREMOS!!!!!!! Split-level-multi-space-of-awesomeness! Come to the PIKE!!!!

  • tx2vadem

    When do people shop at Ski Chalet? Every time I have passed, it has been basically empty.

    • CW

      It may *look* empty, but I was in there in January to buy some snowpants, and it was hopping. I’m sure during the summertime its considerably less busy, but that’s when you often find the best deals.

  • Sorry to see them go from CP. Lived on the pike for 20 yrs and loved going in there for a retreat from the city. 7 corners is close but it was an institution fo us.

    The store is not empty inside – it’s actually busy when I’ve gone shopping.Lots of fun to go browse.

  • Tabby

    When the first major snowstorm was hitting last year, I went in and fought over snowboots and pants. Practically lived in them for weeks.

    Just bought a ski jacket there 30% off.

  • Chris Wiz

    The decor of the building would make it perfect for a place like the Biergarten House up in NE DC.

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