Sport Chalet

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Sport Chalet
Industry Retail
Founded 1959
Headquarters La Cañada, California
Key people
Craig L. Levra, CEO
Norbert Olberz, founder
Howard Kaminsky, CFO
Products Apparel, Sports Equipment, Shoes, Snowsports, Team Sports, Climbing
Revenue $362 million USD[1]

Sport Chalet operates 51 stores in Southern & Northern California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. Most stores are over 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) in size, with many including dive pools and offering SCUBA classes. Sport Chalet stores usually feature large apparel and footwear departments complemented by an array of specialized departments and sections.


Sport Chalet was founded on April 1, 1959 by Norbert Olberz and his wife Irene, who bought a ski and tennis shop in La Cañada Flintridge, California. To initially stock the store with ski gear, the couple took out a $5,000 loan and borrowed money from a relative and some employees.[1]

Early on, Sport Chalet stocked products that few other stores sold, such as scuba and mountain-climbing gear. When surfing became popular in the early 1960s, the store began carrying longboards and wetsuits.[1]

Sport Chalet grew piecemeal in La Cañada along Foothill Boulevard. Olberz converted a former grocery store into a full-line sporting goods store and an old furniture store became the ski shop. He also converted a gas station into a ski rental shop and opened a golf store down the street.[1] Sport Chalet's location is about one block southeast of the intersection with Angeles Crest Highway, a major route into the San Gabriel Mountains.

The company opened its second store in 1981 in Huntington Beach, CA. By the mid-1980s, the company had expanded to have stores throughout Southern California.[1] Sport Chalet has been publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange since 1992.

Norbert Olberz died in La Cañada Flintridge on 15 July 2011.[2]

Corporate Environment[edit]

Sport Chalet's claim is to pride itself by employing well trained and knowledgeable employees who have extensive knowledge and/or experience in their respective departments, leading to one of the companies slogans 'The Experts'. Sport Chalet is one of the few major sporting goods retailers to focus on a broad array of more specialized sports, including kayaking, SCUBA diving, mountain climbing, canyoneering, and other extreme sports. Sport Chalet additionally uses the slogan "We'll Take You to The Limit".

In 1998, Olberz gave $1.5 million in stock to 109 employees who had been with the company for at least 10 years.[1]

The company was the title sponsor of the "U.S.B.A. California Regional Tour." The tour was a collection of three events that were sanctioned by the United States Bodyboarding Association, that took place at different Southern California beaches - events ran between June 7, 2008 and November 9, 2008.

Following the January, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Sport Chalet, in conjunction with Soles 4 Souls, began accepting donations of gently worn shoes at all their locations until January 31, 2010. They collected almost 1 million pairs of shoes in 2 weeks.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Leslie, Earnest (August 20, 2008). "Sport Chalet's founder sees dream come true". Los Angeles Times. pp. C1, C4 [dead link]
  2. ^ "Life in Legacy". Retrieved 2011-07-20. 

External links[edit]