Exit Real World Finds Summer-Camp Lovin’

Stores see frequent influx of Mt. Hood campers looking to spend.

It’s the middle of June, but there’s a line seven-shoppers long waiting to buy armloads of snowboard product. At least twenty other snowboarders are browsing, grabbing product, and getting ready to wait in line, as well. There isn’t even a sale going on.

Sound too good to be true for the drowsy days of summer? For Exit Real World’s new downtown Portland, Oregon shop, occasional traffic like this is just a side benefit of being near North America’s epicenter of summer snowboarding.

Missy Samiee, owner of the three Exit Real World shops, knows first-hand the importance of location in business: “Our Government Camp store goes crazy in the summer. There’s a full session in the camp right now, so it’s pretty packed.” Even the Portland store, located an hour’s drive away from Hood, feels the heat. “We get lucky,” says Samiee. “The van drivers at the camps bring the campers down to go into town, and they come to our shop.”

Although both stock snowboard products, the Salem and Portland stores deal primarily in skateboards during the summertime. Last month Exit built a vert ramp and had nine pro skaters come to the Portland store for a demo, which will become a yearly event. Samiee reveals the secret to attracting the pros: “We’re right by the airport, so we get pros coming through.”

Samiee, who opened the Northwest Portland shop early last summer, says she took a custom approach to the store, and its style mirrors the other Exit shops. “The (Portland) store is pretty much the same as our other locations, but it’s nice to be able to start from the beginning and make it just the way we wanted.”

¿Ted Reckas