Al’s Sporting Goods finds second home at University Place

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Al’s Sporting Goods Store Manager Osten Rasmussen (left) and President and CEO Kris Larsen (right) are opening a new location at the University Place in Orem, Utah. Larsen bought the business from his father in the 1980s after graduated with a marketing degree from Utah State University. (Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

Al’s Sporting Goods has found a second home at University Place.

The four-generation sporting goods store — which took over the former Sports Authority location on the northeast side of University Place —  had been searching for a location to open a second store along the Wasatch Front when Woodbury Corporations approached them about opening a store at University Place.

“We found that the demographic of Orem is so much of what we’re used to in Logan: big families, sort of the same seasons and same sports,” said Kris Larsen, president and CEO of Al’s sporting Goods. “It was a perfect fit. A lot of our employees don’t want to work on Sunday and this mall is not open on Sunday. We love that. Plus, the people down here are as friendly as you’ll find on earth. And all of these college kids, what a great treasure trove of employees. The fact that we got bookmarked by RC Willey and Costco was a big plus.”

Al’s Sporting Goods was founded in Logan, Utah in 1921 by Alvin Moroni Larsen, Kris Larsen’s grandfather. While the store started as a bicycle shop, it grew to include bike repairs, lawnmower repairs, and was the town’s only locksmith and gunsmith shop.

“There was a time when he knew every family, he knew the name of every home in Cache Valley,” Kris Larsen said of his grandfather. “That’s how well connected he was in Cache Valley.”

From there, Al’s Sporting Goods expanded to include products for all popular indoor and outdoor sports in Utah.

“When you come into Al’s we have the motto, ‘We’re all sports, all seasons.’ We sell every sport conceivably the Utah sportsman would want,” Kris Larsen said.

The 40,000 square foot store carries brand names such Nike, Patagonia, Under Armour and The North Face.

“We found that the demographic of Orem is so much of what we’re used to in Logan: big families, sort of the same seasons and same sports. It was a perfect fit.” — Kris Larsen, president and CEO of Al’s sporting Goods

“Every good brand, we have the lower price stuff, but we also have the very, very high end,” Kris Larsen said.

Kris Larsen says the store looks for employees that buy into what the company is selling. He himself is an avid cyclist, golfer and hunter.

“A lot of what we do is we are very emphatic that our staff are passionate users of what we sell,” Kris Larsen said. “In other words, if you work at Al’s, we like to hire and recruit people who love sports and they participate.”

Even the Store Manager Osten Rasmussen, who earned a degree in bio engineering from Utah State University, loves Al’s Sporting Goods motto, choosing it over his college degree for a career.

“I love sporting goods. It’s a fun industry to be in,” Rasmussen, who worked at the Al’s Sporting Goods Logan location during college, said. “I work with people who share the same passion, the same hobbies as me. I go out on my days off to go fishing with people I work with. It’s a great environment to work in.”

To celebrate opening its second location, Al’s Sporting Goods is hosting a variety of free activities and deals from Thursday, Oct. 12 through Saturday, Oct. 14. . Outside of the door-buster deals, there will be bike demonstrations, giveaways, an Easton Batting cage, a Burton snowboarding practice riglet for children and Tom Wallisch, a pro skier and The North Face ambassador who has medaled at multiple Winter X Games, will be doing a meet and greet.

“This will be the most exciting retail Thursday, Friday and Saturday that I think Orem will have ever seen,” Larsen said. “It’s going to be crazy in here.”

Al’s Sporting Goods is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m . – 9 p.m. The store is closed on Sundays. See the full schedule of events here.

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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