A love of the adventure of skiing led Gil Harris to begin working at ski shops, eventually managing two. The desire to offer customers high-level service and lower prices led him to open two of his own stores -- Aspen Ski and Board.

A love of the adventure of skiing led Gil Harris to begin working at ski shops, eventually managing two. The desire to offer customers high-level service and lower prices led him to open two of his own stores -- Aspen Ski and Board.

Harris opened his first store in Lewis Center 10 years ago. Five years ago, he moved to the current location of 1170 E. Powell Road.

The building's exterior of large stone and cedar logs looks like that of a Colorado lodge.

"I wanted the true western look," Harris said, adding that the theme continues inside the store, which he and his staff decorated with hand-picked logs from Michigan.

The store has a large selection of skis, snowboards, ski and snowboard boots, winter clothing and accessories, sunglasses and goggles, a press release said.

Aspen Ski and Board is open from August to April, closing down for the warmer months, Harris said, but skiing season brings busy times.

"We're working 70 to 80 hours a week through the winter -- we're very busy," he said. "The busiest month is December, probably because of Christmas. January is our second busiest month and November third."

Asked why he opened shop in the Delaware County area, Harris joked, "This is the ski capital of the universe.

"I grew up on Home Road and recognized the growth in the area. The average income is high in the area and drive-by traffic was good," he said.

In 2007, Harris opened his second store in Upper Arlington at 1175 Old Henderson Road.

Both locations offer boot fitting, ski club support, equipment leasing and rental, and in-season demos, the press release said.

"We offer exceptional services and extremely low prices and professional staff that can educate customers, fit them for the equipment and work on the equipment," Harris said.

To "generate interest" and "get people involved before the season starts," Harris teams with other organizations for community events such as the upcoming Aspen Ski and Board Mad River Mountain Rail Jam. The event will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, in Columbus.

For more information about the store, call (614) 848-8007 or visit www.aspenskiandboard.com.