Love Note: Gary King’s Downhill Skier

Gary Kings Ski Sign

If you lived in Anchorage between 1950 -2000, you probably remember this sign from Gary King’s Sporting Goods.

My memories of the sign are blurry; watching the skier blip blip blip down the mountain until he ends up in a heap at the bottom is all wrapped up in the smell of coffee and hot chocolate at Cafe del Mundo, the anticipation of visiting Classic Toys, picking out a new book at Once Upon a Time, and strangely, the Spenard Windmill. Regardless, I loved it, and even more, love that it’s part of countless other Anchorage kids’ childhood memories, including my father. How cool is it that I grew up watching the same skier take a tumble as he did?

Gary King went out of business in 2000, and I’m not sure where the sign has been between now and then – sadly, I stopped noticing it as an old boring grown-up and don’t even remember when it was removed from its old post along Benson Blvd (so Velveteen Rabbit of me) but, Alaska Picker* has the sign now (love them!) and posted on Facebook that it will be at their shop in the next couple weeks. I can’t wait for the photos after it’s been cleaned up and restored to its former glory, and I hope it goes on to inspire more generations of Anchorage children to strap on some skis and hit the slopes!


*Photo borrowed from Alaska Picker, photo credit to Robert Haus.

Author: Gretchen Fauske

I love Anchorage. I love what it is, what it's been, and what I dream it will be. I share my adventures with DJ (my husband), my fabulous family and friends, two frenchies named Grover and Teddy, and now, all of you. If you love Anchorage too, get in touch - guest posts are welcome!

4 thoughts on “Love Note: Gary King’s Downhill Skier”

  1. I first remember the skier sign being at an earlier location – when the store was at Northern Lights and Spenard – across from where REI is now. With the neon “Northern Lights Center” columns across the street and the Gary King skier schussing down his run, Spenard was an adorable blend of kitch and glitz (still is!). Thanks for reminding me of this beloved symbol of times gone by. It’s easy to imagine that Mike Gordon might acquire it and return it to its Spenard home, if only slightly down and around the corner at Koots.

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