We know what makes us thankful this November.
You know, sometimes one of those years comes along where everything goes smoothly. Things are easy, the weather is always just right and nothing bad happens. You might take a lot of things for granted during a year like that, and forget to be as thankful as you should be.
2016 was not one of those years here at Sunlight Sports. And now, looking back at the months past, it’s easy to pick out the things for which we are thankful.
We’re giving thanks for the communities to which we belong. Our store was severely affected by an unexpected event this September. The damage was significant. We really believe that many outdoor retailers, in the current environment, wouldn’t have been able to recover. But we are still here, doing what we love in a place that we never want to leave, working with people who mean the world to us.
We’re thankful that we are part of this Cody and Park County community.
I have never been as emotionally touched as by when we look back upon the totality of everything that our neighbors have done for us. You have supported this store with your patronage and your dollars for years. While we do our best to have great stuff at a fair price, we know that you can often find something that we sell cheaper somewhere else – and you choose to shop with us. When people in the grocery store ask us how the store is doing, they actually care.
And when a can of bear spray took us out, that caring kicked into overdrive. Friends, neighbors, and customers brought us food as we tried to figure out how to respond to the damage. More than one hundred people offered volunteer work to get us back on our feet. People came in and worked for free the night before reopening to make sure that we would hit our date. When we opened, you came in and made sure that you shopped. You did it because you felt it was the right thing to do.
All of that support has kept us excited for years, got us through our toughest time so far, and makes us excited for the future.
We’re thankful that we have the community of people that work at Sunlight Sports.
Our employees work hard. They treat the store with care, and they do everything that they can to help all of the people come into the store well. They go outside together, and help each other out. They take care of us, and put up with the many neuroses that come with being a retail owner. Some of our team have been with us from before we bought the store. A couple of them started this fall. All of them are good people that we are proud to be associated with.
We know that sometimes we are really demanding. We can be hard to work with. Our co-workers handle it all with grace. We love them, and respect them.
And when hard things happen, they react in such a way that proves that they best group of people that we have ever had at a store.
We’re thankful for the community in the outdoor industry.
For all of you who work at a brand, or as a rep, or at another retailer – we’re so grateful to you. One of the magical things about being an outdoor retailer is that virtually everyone with whom we have contact in our industry is in it for the right reasons. We’re thankful for the camaraderie, for the shoulders to lean on, and for the sage advice.
We’re thankful for everything that you did to support us through tough times this fall.
It’s not always easy to be a retailer, and it’s gotten much harder to be in the outdoor industry in recent years. Things are changing, the companies are getting bigger and the path that balances business success and actually getting outside is getting narrower. But we’re all still here, together. And despite press to the contrary, our brightest days are ahead.
We’re thankful to be here.
Outside, the sun is shining on bright white mountains that march off into the greatest ecosystem on earth. Town is filled with good people. Recreation and renewal in the outdoors is minutes away. We’re doing what we love in a place that we never want to leave, working with people who mean the world to us.
Wes and Melissa