Skier’s Edge, N.E.T. enjoy brisk business

Sales are up this year for ski equipment and beer and burgers at two locally owned Wood County businesses, the owners said.

At Skier’s Edge Sports Loft, 499 Grand Central Ave. in Vienna, business has increased this fall and December over the previous year, said owner Jeff McLain. He attributes the increase to an improved economy and lower gasoline prices, prompting skiers to head to the mountains.

With snow appropriately falling and cold temperatures outside, McLain prepared for a Christmas party for family, friends and customers at his store on Christmas Eve. By 12:30 p.m., Skier’s Edge was packed with people enjoying the food and drink, Foosball games and conversation. Many were looking forward to skiing over the holidays or in the coming weeks.

McLain has been in the ski equipment business in Wood County since the 1977-78 winter season when his shop was on Murdoch Avenue near the floodwall. McLain owns the building in Vienna, where he has been doing business for the past 20 years.

Next door, renovation is taking place at the former Scratch and Dent Appliances store building for future use by yet unannounced businesses. McLain said he has received offers to purchase his building but hasn’t seen the right price. If he does sell his building, McLain said he won’t retire and will instead find another location for his ski business.

McLain said he still loves to ski and sell skis to people. “It makes them happy; it’s a fun business,” he said. And people are buying.

Matt Lindamood, former star football player and wrestler at Parkersburg High School who played football at West Virginia University, has been working at Skier’s Edge for a few days before taking a new job. In early January, Lindamood will become an intern in the strength and conditioning program for the football team at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., near Chicago.

Helping Lindamood to land the job was Parkersburg native Allan Johnson, who is assistant director of sports performance for football at Northwestern. Lindamood just finished working for eight months in Florida as a high school football coach, personal trainer and church worker. “God and Al Johnson made it possible for me to get the job,” Lindamood said. Lindamood hopes to get a master’s degree at Northwestern. One of the highlights during his time in Florida was meeting with Jaime Saint, a missionary, Christian speaker and businessman in Dunnellon. Lindamood told me he wants to impact lives in a positive direction.

Over at the North End Tavern & Brewery at 3500 Emerson Ave. in Parkersburg, co-owner Joe Roedersheimer said 2013 was another year of increasing sales for beer and food at the 114-year-old business, continuing from a trend the previous year. The N.E.T.’s name recognition, traditional pub fare, microbrewed beers and longtime employees have played a major role in the business’ success, Roedersheimer said.

The N.E.T. began delivering its microbrewed, or craft, beers to locations in Charleston, Huntington, Barboursville and some locally this year, to accompany previous sales accounts in Wood County, Morgantown and Clarksburg, said sales specialist Chip Roedersheimer, Joe’s son. The Parkersburg brewery produces six beers on a regular basis and has added three specialty beers, Chip said.

The N.E.T. once again hosted a Christmas Eve party for friends and customers.

Joe Roedersheimer said he hates to see Autumn Moore close her Vienna restaurant, the Paradise Grille, this year, but he understands the demands and pressure she faced as a local businesswoman.

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About 50 bags of non-perishable food were donated by local residents attending Sunday’s Trail of Taverns in Wood and Washington counties. Twenty-four people rode the two buses, and were joined by five people who provided their own transportation, to the stops at Edgewater Cafe, Harmar Tavern, Beachcomber, Bank Shot, 19th Street Country Club, Par 500, Hill House and J.P. Henry’s. The food was given to the food pantries at St. Andrews United Methodist and Christ United Methodist churches in Parkersburg. Coordinating the 16th annual holiday tour were Jim Deem and Dan Rogers. Each stop lasted about 40 minutes.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com