Business Owners: Jason Gerrard & Mike Duthrie
Business: Hansen Mountaineering
Location: Orem, Utah
Meet Jason & Mike
Jason Gerrard and Mike Duthrie are the two owners of Hansen Mountaineering in Orem, Utah. These outdoors enthusiasts met in Kenya several years ago, and later purchased Hansen Mountaineering, the local climbing shop that Mike had previously worked at. Among many lifestyles, Jason and Mike climb, they mountain bike, and their newest found love, is flying!
The Evolution of Hansen’s
In 1984 Doug Hansen started Hansen Mountaineering. He sold it about 16 years ago. After going through several owners, Jason and Mike now own and operate the shop. Jason and Mike both call Utah home, though the two men, who live “Dirt-bag Climber” lifestyles, met each other across the world in Kenya. Mike went back to the states, and he soon contacted Jason about Hansen Mountaineering being for sale. A year or so later, Jason moved back to Utah, and they bought Hansen Mountaineering.
Dirt-bags to Business Owners
“When we bought the shop it was in a pretty heavy loss position.” Said Jason. “I moved into the basement of the shop and every morning I would go for a mountain bike ride and then hit a couple of climbs at the mouth of Provo canyon. That’s when I had the thought, “This is the way to do it, combining the sports.” The humble beginnings of being a business owner, led Jason and Mike to a cool realization. “We started to find if you combine these sports you can do a lot more, and that’s where flying came in.” A new sport was a quick escape. “We always watched people paragliding, and flying of all sorts, and thought it would be awesome if we could get off the mountain as fast as we could. So instead of hating the decent, we can paraglide off the mountain and end at our cars.”
The Biggest Win
Jason said simply, “Our biggest win is when a customer comes in and has question. They need to know what kind of protection they need on a climb, and we have the staff that’s been there and done that and knows exactly what they need. It’s the only thing we really have to offer as a store, you can this gear anywhere, but people come because we listen to them.”
Advice to Business Owners
“People work for 2 reasons.” Says Jason. One, you are so passionate about what you do, and you love it so much — whether you are an artist or a musician, even though you might not make tons of money, your utility for happiness is so high that it doesn’t matter. And then there are people that work to make money to afford the freedoms they want. I would say make that decision early. Whatever you decide, both are great, but decide early. Do you want to own something that is a passion business? Or do you want to own something that’s going to make you money so that you can be passionate about what ever else it is you decide?”