This is the second post in our series, The Faces of Aegis! We're spotlighting our clients, the people and business who are making an impact in our Tahoe-Truckee community and beyond! Read more of our client spotlights here.
Truckee, CA is an outdoor lover's dream vacation destination. Home to some of the best skiing, snowboarding, and biking around, there's nothing quite like a day spent in the cool air of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Adventurous types throughout the region know that when they need to gear up for a great day, Pacos Truckee Bike and Ski is the place to stop. We got to chat with Aegis client Russell Hamby of Pacos about the shop.
Pacos owner Russell Hamby and family. Image credit: Pacos Truckee.
Pacos is a local-favorite in the Truckee community. This bike and ski shop has provided supplies for thrill-seekers in the Sierra Nevadas for over 40 years.
Founded in 1979, owner Russell Hamby purchased it four years ago from the original owner. Pacos was the first bike shop in Truckee, and is the largest cross country ski store on the west coast.
Shifting the Business Model During COVID
Pacos was open through the COVID outbreak. Deemed an essential business, the popular shop was only closed for 4 days in March. In a normal year, Pacos both sells and rents bikes and skis. However, rentals are temporarily unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pacos has since shifted to a curbside service model in order to create a safer shopping experience for their team members and guests. In the months since the pandemic, they've seen a huge increase in demand.
When COVID hit, Russell wasn't sure what kind of impact it would have on his shop. He started planning on how they would get to June 1st without revenue and worried about how they'd keep up. But Russell’s worries didn’t come to fruition. Pacos was only closed for 4 days.
"We didn’t lay anyone off. We've been operating curbside with minimal staff and started integrating staff back into the store on May 1st."
In fact, demand has been so impressive they've seen three times their normal service business. "It’s been like 4th of July weekend every week," says Russell.
What's on the Horizon
Labor Day Weekend marks the end of summer for the Truckee community, and the transition from bike to ski season. In a normal year, Pacos would spend the next month or so transitioning the store to winter to gear people up to hit the slopes. The team is unsure of what this season will look like, and are currently coming up with solutions.
What does a safer ski season look like? Among other options, Pacos is looking to expand their online offerings. While it's not settled yet, keep an eye out for online shopping and scheduling options in the future.
Giving Back to the Truckee Community
The Truckee Community is always at the heart of Pacos' vision for the future. When asked what support has been like, Russell shares, "Our community is such an amazing community. Right from the start [of COVID] we had people reaching out to see if they could purchase gift cards or asking for other ways to support us and ensure we stayed open."
"It’s been a mind-blowing outpouring of support."
To pay it forward, Russell has become a huge advocate for the Resilience Fund. Supported by the Sierra Business Council, the Resilience Fund is designed to provide rapid assistance to local small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How You Can Help
When asked if there was any way for the community to further support Pacos, Russell instead shared a call to support one another.
"Everyone is struggling one way or another. Just be kind, be thoughtful. Everyone is struggling, whether it’s with a business or a job or being a teacher. Everyone needs to support each other."
He emphasized that if we all do a good job and raise each other up, we'll all be stronger for it. He stated that he's even reached out to chat with other bike shops in recent months to exchange advice and guidance. "We're all just here living the dream."
Aegis is A Proud Fan of Pacos
Aegis is proud to offer insurance solutions to Pacos and others like them in the Truckee community. Learn more about Pacos and Truckee's bike and ski scene on Pacos' journal.