Park City citizens owe a debt of gratitude to the handful of people who made it their hometown during the 1970s and ‘80s.
Gary and Jana Cole, owners of Cole Sport, rolled into town in 1972 and put down deep roots through family, business, and community involvement. Now in its second generation, the Coles are an integral part of the civic backbone that created the character, values, and love of the area that makes Park City such a thriving success.
Gary and Jana both grew-up in the Seattle area and learned to love skiing at Stevens Pass in the nearby Cascades. In college, Gary studied music and opera performance, Jana speech pathology, and both learned how to teach skiing. They married after completing their educations and Gary’s military service. Inspired by the era’s vibes, Gary and Jana decided to fling methodical predictability and their college majors behind them and hit the road in search of adventure. Selling their cars to buy a truck and camper, Gary and Jana headed out on the road trip of a lifetime. Like many
of their generation, the quest was the epitome of “livin’ the dream.” Traveling the mountain west, they toured Sun Valley, Snowbird, Vail, and Aspen.
But then Park City warmly welcomed them, first with jobs and soon a cadre of friends that became family. They had found their dream ski town.
Their first decade in Park City was marked by hard work, courage, and grasping opportunities that came out of the blue. They learned to expect the unexpected. The Coles became instrumental in some early real estate developments that put Park City on the map for affluent skiers. One of these developments offered them the chance to try their hand at retail, which has now grown to become the legendary Cole Sport family business. The word “family” here includes their many long-term employees and managers, as well as their sons, Jason and Adam.
“We grew up with Park City. In those early years, everyone took care of each other, and that’s what took care of the town,” said Gary. “I’ve found that formula works in every aspect of life, including business. Our success is a result of taking care of each other, which takes care of the customers, which takes care of the business. It all takes care of Park City.”
Today, Jason and Adam are guiding the family business into the future, and continuing the family’s enduring commitment to make Park City great.