Merchant of the Week: EZ Sports guy Pete Zimmerman
More photos in “Read more…”
January 6, 2012
by Rob Greenstein
I paid Pete Zimmerman a visit this week, to ask him about his 50 years in New Castle, and his 20 years running EZ Sports.
How long have you and your store been part of our community?
This is our store’s 20th year. I’ve lived in Chappaqua for 50 years. My passion is Greeley sports, especially recreation football, grades 4 to 6. I have coached lacrosse and baseball on and off for 40 years. Last year, I was assistant coach for 3rd grade Lacrosse with Russell Maitland, the Chappaqua Fire Dept Chief, who I coached when he played on Greeley JV lacrosse team in the early 80s. The store has given me the opportunity to stay involved with Greeley sports. I couldn’t imagine having a store anywhere else.
You carry so much Greeley logo merchandise, as well as uniforms and equipment for Greeley sports, have you always been focused on Greeley sports?
Yes, we are all about Greeley Sports. EZ sports is named after my late father Ed Zimmerman, who taught me the love of Sports. Having lived in the community for 50 years, I’ve always loved Greeley sports. We are a one-stop shop for Greeley athletes and fans alike. Maybe now is the time to change our name to Greeley EZ Sports.
Instead of using your window space to highlight your merchandise, you have photos of all the Greeley teams, do your customers appreciate that?
The pictures of the sports teams is what I’m all about, promoting the student athletes. My motto is WE SHINE TOGETHER. The pictures are a small sampling of what I’ve collected over the years. We have pictures of Greeley teams going back to the 1930’s. Everybody loves looking at the pictures in the window.
You’ve been involved in Greeley sports probably longer than anyone else in town, what changes have you noticed over the years?
Since the Fall of 1959, when my family moved to Chappaqua, the major change in sports in town is multi-season and travel teams. So many sports are no longer a one-season commitment, which is good and bad. It’s tough for kids to play multiple sports. Quite often they need to chose between football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball, hockey and basketball. Female participation in organized sports has certainly increased over the years, which is great.
From a merchant point of view, what changes have you noticed over the years?
It seems that all or most of the town merchants were residents of New Castle and there was a bond between merchants and their customers. Nowadays, there are a lot of absentee landlords. The Town is in a difficult situation, because they have very little control over the landlords to reshape the retail mix in town.
I know you’ve been active with the Turf Committee, how’s that going? And how can residents donate?
The Turf Committee is working hard to bring the turf field, and lights, to the community. I think a turf field would be great for Greeley sports. The new field will be available on an equal basis for all sports. The lights will allow night practice during hot weather days. Important games can be played at our home field instead of at a rented field in another community. Friday night football games would be great for our community. You can donate on “The Chappaqua Turf Committee” web site http://www.chappaquaturf.org.
What do you think the town could do to make conditions better for business?
That’s a tough question. I have a lot of contact with Greeley alumni, maybe they’ll have some suggestions. Things definitely need to improve.
Any special discounts for NewCastleNOW readers who mention this article?
Mention NewCastleNOW and receive 20% off all in-store Greeley merchandise (no specials orders).
Visit NCNOW.org’s Business Section to see other “Merchant of the Week” pieces by Rob Greenstein.