COLUMBIA, 2/1/12  (Beat Byte) --  A 2012 National Retailer of the Year award has gone to The Alpine Shop, with three Missouri locations, including one at 1102 E. Broadway in Columbia.

The Backpacker Magazine award goes to the business that performed best in the nation introducing people to outdoor sports.

"I didn’t get into this business to get rich. And let me tell you, I didn’t," said Alpine Shop owner Russell Hollenbeck. "Getting people outdoors is why we do this. It’s behind everything we do." 

Started as a small climbing shop in Webster Groves, Missouri in 1973, The Alpine Shop serves outdoor enthusiasts, including backpackers, campers, cyclists, hikers, paddlers, skiers, snowboarders or climbers.   In 2011, the store enrolled nearly 4000 registrations for 275 programs designed to teach or showcase 13 different outdoor disciplines. 

"We believe that experiencing the outdoors changes people for the better," said co-owner Lisa Hollenbeck, co-owner of Alpine Shop. "It brings people a better understanding of themselves and what they can accomplish."