Sports Specialists Ltd. (SSL) started in January 1971 as a specialty ski retailer-owned buying group. The original purpose was to help members compete in the market place against the large sporting goods retail chains that were getting into the ski category of sales. The foundation of the group was an organization known as the Ski Specialists Guild. The purpose of SSG was to promote ski specialty shops to consumers through image ads in industry magazines. Many of the original member businesses are still going today. The idea worked and withstands the test of time.
Some of the founding members still in business today (Princeton Sports, MD; Ski & Sport Haus, OH;King Keyser, IL; and Scandinavian Ski Shop, IL). Bernie (Sonny) Davis of Princeton Sports, Chairman of SSL for 16+ years, remains active in the business today.
SSL now has 46 members with over 130 retail outlets spread over 26 states and DC, doing approximately $150 million at retail in snow sports. SSL does business with over 70 suppliers in the snow sports industry and has earned a Gold Plated reputation in the industry.
SSL will be celebrating its 40th anniversary at the Winter Sports Market in Denver on January 24th at the Hyatt Hotel.