There are two kinds of people who buy brand name outdoors gear: those who want to show off their mountain-style, and those who would not hesitate to use their pricey down jacket as an improvised doggie bed. Quality outdoors gear does indeed look cool but it is also designed with one express purpose: to drain your wallet. Or at least, that how it feels sometimes.
Enter Wilderness Exchange Unlimited, a gear shop for the people who live and breathe outdoor recreation. Located in the heart of Denver along the Platte River, this independently owned store brings down the price of premium outdoors gear to make it affordable for the people who really use it.
“We combine the best elements of an outdoor specialty shop with a consignment shop and discount outlet concept,” explains owner Don Bushey. “Our customers can find both the latest and greatest specialty mountaineering equipment as well as amazing deals and discounts on close out, cosmetic seconds or used equipment.”
Bringing down the prices for top-of-the-line gear with slight cosmetic defects is a win for both consumers and manufacturers. Likewise, the consignment option provides a place to part with old gear and get it into the hands of those who can put it to good use.
“We started in 2000 and opened a small 600 square foot consignment shop on Platte Street”, says Bushey, reflecting on the history of the store. “At the time, REI had purchased the old Forney Transportation museum in order to build their flagship store. Other outdoor gear retailers also opened on Platte Street including a boat shop, a bike shop and a skateboard/snowboard shop. The outdoor business community on Platte is truly unique and gives Denver's many outdoor enthusiasts one location to find all of their outdoor adventure needs. We have since relocated twice and have grown into Denver's premiere outdoor specialty shop. Denver is one of the greatest places anywhere to have this kind of shop because of its proximity to some of the best climbing, skiing, and mountaineering on the planet.”
One area that Wilderness Exchange Unlimited doesn’t skimp on is the passion and experience of its employees.
“Our staff is comprised of some of the most amazing people I have ever worked with,” says Bushey. “As a small local independent business that hires only experienced skiers, climbers and backpackers, we hope to add value to our customers' buying decisions in a low-key and laid-back environment by truly understanding their needs and matching them with the right gear.”
Despite the presence of some big name chains in the neighborhood, Wilderness Exchange Unlimited remains a favorite destination for those looking for quality equipment at a discount price. The shop is especially appealing to those trying out a new sport who don’t want to break the bank. It also offers an outlet for those looking to make a few bucks off unused gear.
Denver is fortunate to have a hub where the outdoors community can truly support one another. The store’s creed can be summed up by their mission statement:
This perspective is what we hope to bring to our customers’ buying process: we are frugal backcountry enthusiasts, climbers, and skiers who want the best gear available and are always looking for deals. In areas where we can’t find discounted product, we select gear based on a simple criterion--it must represent a great value in terms of performance, function, and innovation, and be essential gear for our outdoor adventures.
One last bit of good news for those not in Colorado: Wilderness Exchange Unlimited does have an online store where the public can browse a wide selection of gear. Orders over $99.99 are eligible for free shipping as well.
Whether you are into skiing, climbing, snow sports, hiking or backpacking, Wilderness Exchange Unlimited is an excellent outlet for those who demand the most of their gear and are savvy enough to seek out a good bargain. You can visit them online at: www.wildernessexchangeunlimited.com or give them a ring at 303-964-0708.