It all started in 1977…
Mountain Hardware and Sports was established in 1977 by long-time friends and Truckee Locals. When one of the original founders left the company, Dane Skutt, Greg Havorka, and Howard Jones become the face of Mountain Hardware and Sports. Many of us remember that old store, and how it was full of merchandise for every customer and every season. The friends aimed to create a unique shopping experience with top-notch customer service.
In 1991, the owners decided to move to one of our current locations on Donner Pass Rd, what used to be the old Safeway building. A few years later, they changed from a True Value, to an Ace, and decided to make the move to becoming an employee-owned company. Shortly after in 2002, the owners purchased a small location in Blairsden, CA (Plumas County) – to serve the residents of Graeagle, Whitehawk Ranch and Portola.
Becoming Employee Owned
When it was time for the founders to choose a succession plan for their little business in the mountains, they chose an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in order to secure the future of the business and their employees.
A successful employee-owned company with an ESOP must have someone in charge of running the company beyond the retirement of the founders. Doug Wright, who was hired in 1999 as GM, was the necessary cog in the Mountain Hardware wheel. As an entity, the ESOP purchased 49% of the business that year. In 2005, an additional 2% of the business was purchased so that the ESOP would own the majority percentage of stock. As of 2007, the ESOP has paid off its initial stock purchase loans – notes carried by the founders – and in April of 2013, the remainder of the 49% ownership was purchased by the ESOP with open market loan funds. While the founders are retired from day to day activities, they’ve stayed involved through participation in the Board of Directors.
How the ESOP Works
The shares are held in a trust, and every employee at the age of 21, with 1000 hours worked, and employed on the first and last day of the plan year, is automatically given stock in the company. But, that is not the only benefit our employee-owners receive. Employee-owners have gym memberships, health insurance, ski passes and more. When employee-owners are fully vested at 6 years, we award them a SUP or a bicycle – celebrating the fact that they’re a tenured owner.
Since we’re all owners, we have a unified and cohesive goal: to serve our community and provide outstanding customer service. We are proud to be a part of the employee-owned community, with companies like Scheels, Winco Foods, and many others. In the words of our President Doug Wright, “Our staff has a lot of autonomy to make decisions. We encourage everyone to be involved and engaged; I want them to drive home at night and say, ‘I own part of that company.’”
Truckee Rents Becomes Part of the Family
An opportunity to purchase Truckee Rents became available in December of 2014, and the decision was made to expand our company and diversify the business. Mountain Hardware and Sports has always strived to provide excellent customer service and a large selection of mountain lifestyle and hardware products. We take great pride in living and working in our local community, as well as giving back and making a difference. Currently, 90+ active employees of Mountain Hardware and Truckee Rents are “all in” when it comes to their business. We have loved being a part of the Truckee Community and look forward to another 40+ years!
As employee-owners, each staff member has a personal responsibility to maintain an over-the-top service level to Mountain Hardware customers. Each of them takes great pride and satisfaction in helping the customers find the right product for their needs.
In our 40+ years, Mountain Hardware and Sports has always strived to provide excellent customer service and a large selection of mountain lifestyle and hardware products. We take great pride in living and working in our local community, as well as giving back and making a difference. We have loved being a part of the Truckee Community and look forward to another 40+ years!
We take our core values seriously.
Our core values are what define our company culture – they are what make our Employee Owners successful every single day.
We take our core values seriously.
Every one of our core values is equally important as the next. These values define our culture and are part of what makes our employee-owners successful every single day.