49 Voices: Russell Sell of Anchorage

Russell Sell, owner of SkiAK.

This week 49 Voices features Anchorage resident Russell Sell, an experienced skier and owner of SkiAK in Midtown Anchorage. 

SELL: “You know, every Black Friday is different, you know, and every market is different, you know. With larger stores, some being closed — for instance, REI — normally they’re closed on Black Friday, and they do a big online push beforehand. We’re here for their customers if they want to come in and take a look at what we have to offer.

SkiAK’s been around a long time; we’ve got a great group here. We’re a small, family-run business and we believe in interacting with our customers. We believe in sharing the wealth of knowledge that we have here, and that’s so important because you can’t get that anywhere else. You know we can actually have a conversation, come in, sit down and learn something. I’ve been a skier all my life; I went to Colorado to college and enjoyed all the Rockies and what it had to offer. I’m almost 70. My first job, at 15, was in the ski shop. I sold Head skis and Roffe clothes and all kinds of things back in the early, early 60s.

There’s not enough snow at the resort to get that open; there’s not enough snow at Arctic Valley to get that open. I’d be really joyful if Hilltop could get open and get those families out there with their little ones and, you know, start that experience.

Everybody’s still stoked on skiing, there’s no question about that. And we do have skiers that are out skiing right now, cautiously in the backcountry, of course, you have to know before you go. Plan your trips and make a stab at it; go climb and earn your turns, and for the resort folks, you know, we just want to pray for snow. You know, and that’s all we can really do is pray for snow, and it will come — it’s just the way our fall has fleshed out this year.”