Hoigaard’s sold

How many Minnesota businesses founded in 1895 — 1895! — do you think are still operating? One of them today became a Colorado business.

Hoigaard’s, the sporting good stores, was purchased today by Specialty Sports Venture, which operates 170 sporting goods stores. It’ll retain the Hoigaard’s name, however.

Specialty Sports Venture is owned by Vail Resorts, which has kindled a new love for Minnesota winter sports. It recently bought Afton Alps.

It’s planning millions of dollars in upgrades at the local facility, but business experts suggested that the larger strategy is to further popularize skiing, and get people to Colorado.

Hoigaard’s started as a store canvas tents and awnings, serving the needs of the Alaskan Gold Rush. It also manufactured parachutes for the military in World War I and World War II. It got into the sporting goods, camping and ski business in the early ’60s.

At the time of its sale today, it was still run by a Hoigaard family member.