Peter Gearin stands for a photo in front of Rossvegas on Columbia Ave.

Peter Gearin stands for a photo in front of Rossvegas on Columbia Ave.

Gearing up for back to school

Business profile on Rossvegas Boardshop

Having a hard time shopping for that picky adolescent or never-pleased teen?

Try Rossvegas Boardshop on Rossland’s main drag.

The shop is packed from the walls to the rafters with must-have brand name shirts, hoodies, tees, footwear and sporting gear particularly popular with teens and sports enthusiasts alike.

Oh – they sell snowboards and skateboards, too.

Owner Peter Gearin came to Rossland in the early 1990s where he grew up in retail. His family owned clothing stores in Collingwood, Ont.

After arriving in Rossland, he managed Powderhound for 10 years; then purchased the Kingdom Boardshop in 2002. Two years later, he changed the name to Rossvegas.

“There was a band with that name, and there was an old joke that Rossland was once called Rossvegas,” he said.

He has since trademarked the name and screen-prints it on popular shirts for locals and tourists.

“Our main part is clothing, shoes, kids sizes 2T and up. We carry all top brands in the business, such as Burton and Volcom.”

Rossvegas also carries equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports.

Where else could you buy a set of competition horseshoes with a Volcam label and Volcam carrying bag?

Frisbee golf?

It’s quite a popular sport in Rossland and discs are tough to keep on the shelves at Rossvegas.

Along with the upbeat atmosphere and metal music, Rossvegas staff walk the talk.

“Everyone in the store is involved in skateboarding or snowboarding. I’ve been snowboarding since 1985.”

Gearin runs the business with silent partner Nigel Paynter (chief financial officer) and his wife,  Cathy Brodie, who works behind the scenes, keeping books “and keeping us all organized. She’s the backbone.”

Business has been good in Rossland, but Gearin expects it to improve even more once the skateboard park is up and running.

Although he was involved in the beginning, trying to get approval for the concept, Gearin doesn’t give himself credit for helping to make the park a reality.

“Once it got to the latest stage, it was far too political. I didn’t want someone pointing to me saying they didn’t want it in their back yard.”

Being some 15 years in the making, Gearin says the park missed a whole generation.

“Now the people who wanted a park back then are bringing in their own children.”

Although skateboarding is a “super technical” sport, it isn’t expensive.

“You can buy a board for about $100. Two hundred dollars and you’re set with all you’d need.”

If a board breaks, a new plank for the deck is about $40.

“Most get a season out of a board.”

Besides running the shop, Gearin is a huge supporter of carnival events. He hosts “The Game” Rail Jam on Queen St. during Winter Carnival.

He also sponsored a hole at the frisby golf tournament held at Black Jack.

Currently, Rossvegas is gearing up for the second busiest season besides winter – back-to-school.

“It’s huge. We sell tons of backpacks, kids clothes.”

And Rossvegas is just getting into the on-line business.

Check it out at