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Cleveland! At one point Cleveland was a hot spot for snowboarders to film urban - Is the street scene still alive and well?
It is when we get the snow. The last two seasons have been rough for urban riding in the Midwest, but I'm hoping this winter brings some big storms and the snow hangs around all winter. There are so many spots around here that are epic.

How does the street snowboard scene transition into skateboarding in the summer? 
I think it's a slightly different crew around here. Recently Cleveland built a nice skate park by the Cuyahoga River that's a ton on tranny riding, but the street scene guys generally hit up smaller spots around town.

There are few brands that can penetrate both snowboarding and skateboarding, how does this ability help a retailer? Do customers want to rock the same brand 4-seasons? 
It's always nice to support and work with brands that are year round.  You get to grow the brand and open the eyes to customers that might be only looking at one season.

Obviously, there is a difference between urban snowboarding outerwear needs and resort riding? Whats styles in outerwear tend to be top sellers? Color ways? Prints?
For us it's snowboard pants - lots of earth tones and more tailored fits.  Jackets are the biggest difference in resort / street riding, but finding a good jacket style that you can wear off the hill is key.

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Martini has a reputation nation-wide for doing the right things for the right reasons. What are Martini’s reasons? 
We have a passion for snowboarding! I've been riding since 1992 and still love to go out and make some turns as much as I can. I think the big thing for the shops success is that we focus on what we know - snowboarding. No skis, boats, bikes, etc... Just snowboarding gear from snowboarding brands. The other thing we do well is fitting people to what they need and not just whats hot for a minute or more expense stuff. Asking lots of questions and knowing the stuff you sell is key.  You always want to find the right setup for somebody that fits them now and for what they want to do in the future too.

How does that translate to the website and ECOMM business?
Ecomm is all about the right product mix. We love smaller, specialty lines and gear.  Lots of stuff on our site can be labeled limited edition, special edition, rare, and just plain out cool - lol.

Speaking of which, the design and functionality of your website is fantastic.
Thanks! We work with a great website/pos company that focuses on snowboard shops - CompanyBe out of Colorado.

Is there different customer service tactics online vs. in store? 
I think in-store is a bit more finding out peoples needs/wants and fitting them the right way. On-line is knowing the products and answering any questions quickly. Also being honest and genuine helps with both!

Anything you are stoked about with Sessions new line?
I've always been a fan of Sessions - I grew up watching the Sessions team on old snowboarding movies and trying to pick up style and moves from them... of course looking the part was always key too!  Today's Sessions line has great style to it - I see the heritage in the line with a mix of the modern style. Oh and the fabrics and materials used are great! You can see and feel this stuff is going to hold up to even Midwest riding abuse!

I [Nick VIsconti] have been to Cleveland many times, but more snowboard specific - now I appreciate the whole experience. Where do you recommend I eat, drink, ride in the city? 
There's a local chain or restaurants called Melt - they have gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches that are the bomb!  And our Cleveland Heights store is right next store to one! Also, my favorite bar is down the road in Akron - Thursday Lounge - strong drinks and kickin' dance floor.

So many hyper talented riders come from the midwest? What’s in the water? Or is it the hops, ha? 
I think if you can ride the ice of the Midwest, you can ride anything! We don't have the mountains of out West, so we might have a slightly more creative eye when looking at different spots and features.

We want this platform also to be a voice - what’s the #1 things helping and hurting the industry right now? 
Support Local!!! Support the stores and brands that are snowboarding. Online is great, but the passion for snowboarding runs in the local shops and people.
Martini Skate and Snow, Black Friday Sale, Sessions Outerwear

Anything else to tell our readers - your potential customers? 
Ride for yourself and for the love of it. Don't try be somebody else to get ahead, be yourself and enjoy it everyday! And finally support snowboarding and the brands / shops that love it too! Cheers to That!
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Written by Amy Gonzales

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