Posted by: rcieri | May 1, 2009

Timberline Station shopping center introduces ski shop, bar and grill

March 11, 2009

by Rachel Cieri

Today’s economy may not be an ideal time to open a new business, but two local entrepreneurs have high hopes for their projects in Elon’s new Timberland Station.

Located directly across from the College Station apartments on West Haggard Avenue, this strip of shops had its first business open in December.

C&R Ski-Outdoor provides local access to sporting goods

C&R Ski-Outdoor is owned by Dick Forrest, who has been in the business for 25 years, and he is opening the store as an extension of its first location in Hillsborough.

Elon may be closer to the beach than the mountains, but Forrest saw a potential market here. The Hillsborough store served a customer base out of Raleigh, and the Elon location aims to tap into the growing market in Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

“We’ve had good luck with the local people, but not as many students have been coming in,” Forrest said of the Elon store.

Peter Ustach, an Elon senior and day manager at the store, said they plan to provide services and products specially catered to students.

Along with accepting Phoenix Cash, the store will be offering package trips to Snowshoe and Wintergreen, two popular ski resorts in the area. For a flat price, students will get rental equipment, a lift pass, dinner and breakfast as well as a bus ride to and from the resort.

The store carries more than just ski apparel. During the warmer months, it will offer summer clothing, and it will carry licensed Elon apparel and provide screen printing services all year.

As a small business, C&R aims to bring exceptional customer service.
“It’s different than the big sporting goods stores. We’ll actually give you the time of day,” Ustach said. “You can even make an appointment, and Dick (Forrest) will sit down and talk with you.”

Forrest is open to any student suggestions for how the store can improve, and there is even discussion of building a rock wall in the future.

Fat Frogg to offer students another bar choice

There may already be three bars in the town of Elon, but the Fat Frogg aims to provide a different option when it opens later this spring.
The 1,500-square-foot bar and grill owned by Elon alumnus Jeff Mackenzie will offer a “nostalgic,” smoke-free atmosphere catered especially to university students in the Timberline Station shopping center.
“Some people say that students are only here nine months a year and that you have to do what other people want, too. But I somewhat disagree,” Mackenzie said.

He plans to put in a stage with built-in sound equipment for bands, a dance floor, a patio and old-style games like shuffleboard. He is also envisioning a wall of old Elon memorabilia.

“We want to create a wall to tie the past and present together. I want it to be a place where students and alumni can come,” Mackenzie said.
He also understands the problems of underage students who must pay a higher cover charge to be admitted to a bar, so he’s hoping to provide another option.

“They might have to pay a higher cover, but we’re thinking about giving them ‘Frogg dollars’ to buy food and non-alcoholic drinks once they’re inside,” he said.

Another idea Mackenzie is toying with is the possibility of a shuttle to bring students back and forth to the bar at night.

As for the unusual name for his business, Mackenzie said he wanted it to be memorable.

“We pushed around a lot of names, but we wanted a name we could market a bit and have fun with,” Mackenzie said. “It’s all about Elon, and it’s all about what the students want.”

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