SHERIDAN — What was recently known as the place to grab a scoop of Wilcoxson’s ice cream in the winter now dons a new name: Adventure Sports.
The store, owned by Foot of the Bighorns and Sports Stop owner Michelle Maneval, moved its rental facility into the building next door, allowing for cross-country ski, skate ski, downhill ski, snowboard and snowshoe rentals and Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area passes.
“We’re taking little steps,” Karen Powers said, mother of Maneval who helps organize the Wild and Scenic Bighorn Trail Run each year.
While remnants of Sugar Boot goodies remain — jelly beans still sit in colorful rows against the west wall and decadent chocolates line the shelves of a glass case encompassing the cash register — the walls once housing toys and trinkets now hold up skis and display all types of winter sport footwear.
Daniel Clark, who naturally eased into his title as rental manager at Sports Stop appreciated the task of creating a personalized space in the now-winter sports rental shop. Before, Clark made do with a small back countertop out of which he operated Sport Stop’s rental arm. When moving into the Sugar Boot storefront, Clark was given full creative authority to build the space how he wished.
“‘Whatever it costs, build what you want,’” Clark remembered the owner telling him. “The bigger space is awesome. I built it how I wanted it.”
The shop now holds the rental countertop in the back corner where the ice cream used to be located. Downhill skis line the left wall, snowboards and accompanying boots line the right wall, and Antelope Butte sweatshirts and other winter sports clothing hangs on racks upon entry and throughout the middle of the store. While rentals remain available at Antelope Butte, this gives winter athletes another option before they head up the mountain more than an hour away from Sheridan.
Clark took to the rental portion of the business as a self-proclaimed tech guy/gearhead of the group. He spent about two hours in an online training with company Elon — the organization making the downhill skis for rent at the shop — learning how to properly equip renters for the proper gear keeping them safe while recreating. Clark also worked diligently on his own equipment to learn how to properly wax boards and skis to help renters with a smooth ride down the slopes.
The “little steps” Powers mentioned also include patience in purchasing and receiving shipments of rental equipment, which has become less available due to factory shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite back orders of equipment, Powers is hopeful the business will continue growing steadily in preparation for increased participation in winter sports. She said equipment suppliers for cross-country skiing mentioned growth by around 200% of late.
In addition to local trails maintained by multiple entities in South Park and along the Sheridan Community Land Trust-built trails on the outskirts of Sheridan, Black Mountain Nordic Club maintains trails at Sibley Lake and Cutler Hill in the Bighorn National Forest. With rentals readily available, Sheridanites now must wait for adequate snow to avoid rocks and ice along the trails.
And come summertime, the rental shop will transform back into the Sugar Boot, allowing folks to grab their scoop of Wilcoxson's on a hot summer day.