Meet the Makers + Inspired Partners- Taos Mountain Outfitters
Name of business: Taos Mountain Outfitters
What they do: Sell and rent outdoor gear and apparel.
How long they have been doing it: The business since 1969, current owners since 2016
Where they are located: 113 N Plaza, Taos, NM 87571
Whether you’re into trail-running, backpacking, or snowshoeing among the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos Mountain Outfitters has been THE place to shop for outdoor gear in Taos since 1969. In the days before big box stores, people would visit independent shops to buy the things they needed, but those days don’t have to be gone for good! TMO is still going strong and is the largest independent outdoor store in New Mexico. If you are planning a day exploring the scenic backcountry around Taos, TMO is a great place to stop to get gear, apparel, trail maps, or just some friendly advice from a local outdoor enthusiast.
The main store is located on the Taos Plaza, which has been the center of life in Taos for over 300 years. The current storefront was completed in 1934 after a fire wiped out most of the buildings on the North side of the Plaza.
The building was home to a popular store called El Mercado, where people shopped for things like food, hardware, appliances, bicycles, and everything in-between. Nowadays the Taos Plaza is a center for tourism. It boasts of many cafes, art galleries, and souvenir shops. Taos Mountain Outfitters is frequented by visitors and locals alike who are looking for high quality equipment to take with them as they explore the outdoors.
Karen and Bill Gaydosh bought the business in 2016. They have also opened a location in Red River.
Lewis: “Why did you get into the outdoor gear business?:”
Karen: “We had worked for the Department of Energy for twenty some years. When we would travel we would always come into outdoor stores, because we would camp and hike and fish, so we loved hanging out and checking out the outdoor stores. Then my Husband kind of hit a wall and was like ‘I’m Done, I don’t want to work the way I’m working anymore.’ And we found this place for sale. We kind of went out on a limb because we had never worked in retail before, but we loved the gear, loved the clothes and the shoes and all that. And we loved northern New Mexico, we had lived in Los Alamos and Santa Fe, and Carlsbad for that matter.”
Lewis: “What are some things about Taos and Northern New Mexico that have an impact on your business?”
Karen: “We think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. Our backyard is gorgeous, it’s not as crowded as Colorado or some of the other places in the country, so we’re just excited that we get to play here and live here and encourage people to get out and enjoy our backyard as well.”
Lewis: “What are some of the activities people can shop for at TMO?”
Karen: “Hiking, camping, trail-running, snowshoeing… We have everything clothing-wise for skiing and snowboarding. We’ve got pants and gloves and hats and all that type of stuff. We have some rock climbing stuff too.”
Lewis: “What could a customer’s experience be like if they came into the shop and were looking to do something around Taos?”
Karen: “Well if they were looking for a guide we would point to Heritage Inspirations. But our employees know the trails, they know the area, and they’re really good at suggesting places to go and things to see. They are always really good at suggesting restaurants.”
Lewis: “Is there anything else you would like to mention about TMO or Taos Area?”
Karen: “Just that we’re passionate about getting people outside, and letting them enjoy what’s out there. I think so many people hesitate to get out there and do stuff, and we like to help people make that happen.”