XTREME EXPO: Idaho State Journal outdoors event set for Friday, Saturday
Greg Kjono believes his small Pocatello sporting goods store has filled an important niche for local outdoorsmen who enjoy activities such as rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering and backpacking.
Nonetheless, he believes far too many area athletes still head to Jackson, Wyoming, or Salt Lake City to buy their specialized equipment, unaware they have a local supplier of high-end climbing gear and sporting goods products in their own community.
Kjono expects to raise the public profile of his shop, Idaho Adventure Sports, by staffing a booth during the Idaho State Journal’s Xtreme Outdoor Expo, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck.
The expo will be hosted from noon to 9 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Bingham Health Care is the major sponsor of the event, which is in its first year and is anticipated to become an annual community fixture.
“We figured the expo would be a good way to introduce ourselves to people who don’t know we’re here yet,” Kjono said, explaining he makes many sales online, but foot traffic keeps his business afloat.
Kjono opened the store, located at 365 Yellowstone Ave., about a year ago. It’s a family business, also staffed by his wife, Joanna, his son, Chris Fierstine, and his daughter-in-law, Fern Tungpalan.
“Pretty much every day we have somebody walk in to our store, and they’re like, ‘We drive by every day and we had no idea you were here,’” Kjono said. “Once they come in they’re super excited about what we have and they keep coming back.”
Idaho Adventure Sports will give a rock climbing demonstration during the expo. The expo will also include a golf demonstration by golfing pro David Crozier. Prizes will be given away, such as a weekend RV rental and golf lessons.
Vendors such as Idaho Water Sports and RVs and Boats for Less will have RVs and boats displayed in the mall parking lot. Ken’s Rec Center will feature its selection of off-road vehicles inside of the mall, along with merchandise and displays from other vendors. Idaho Central Credit Union will also participate.
Traci Lund, event manager for the Idaho State Journal, said the Expo offers the public a chance to check out outdoor products and equipment before the start of the summer.
Kjono believes an outdoor expo is a good fit in Southeast Idaho, which offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. He said the area has several climbing destinations, countless trails and is in close proximity to great vacation and backpacking destinations, such as the Sawtooth Mountains and the Salt Lake area.