Standing in front of Sib Kleffner’s Sporting Goods Store of 35 years are Mick McConnell and Rich Urresti. Mick and Rich purchased Sib Kleffner’s in August of 1972 at the location currently occupied by Boise Bike, McU Sport’s bike division. Mick and Rich renamed the business combining their two last names, thus we have McU Sports. The business not only included the Downtown location, but the rental and retail business at Bogus Basin Mountain Resort and a location at Vista Village. The business moved from its original location at 814 W Jefferson to the other end of the block where they are now located. At the time this location was occupied by Henderen Furniture. In 1976-77 the interior was remodeled and the store front is as it is now. In 1979, long-time employee John Klotz bought in as a shareholder of the business. In 1984, Mick McConnell passed away after a long battle with cancer.
Many employees remember the days of being shuttled to the mountain in a bus driven by Rich Urresti’s dad, Gus. McU Sports maintained the rental and retail shop at the Bogus Basin Ski Resort, next to Bogus Creek Lodge, and a small shop located in the Pioneer lodge now occupied by the Mountain Events office. In 1987, McU Sports opened a skier specific store located in the Highlands at the intersection of Bogus Basin Road and Hill Road. During these years, stores in the Vista Village, Karcher Mall and Shopko Plaza on Fairview came and went. In 1993, Bogus Basin took over management of the rental/retail business at the mountain, thus ending McU Sports’ affiliation with the resort. Subsequently, McU Sports remodeled the Highland Store to include a full rental and repair shop and a larger retail space. For years, the Highland Store closed its doors from May to August. In 2001, Chuck Cremer began leasing the location from McU Sports during these summer months dealing in kayaks, rafts and summer gear to play with after the snow melts. The summer business is called Alpenglow Mountainsport. In 2018, Chuck and Danny Tommack purchased McU Sports from John and Rich. Danny worked at McU Sports in the 1990’s and has returned to Boise with his family.
The store has employed many over the years, giving kids the opportunity of afternoon jobs and giving them spending money and responsibility. The first employee was rehired from Sib Kleffner’s, bookkeeper Jane Miller. She has since retired and lives a great life in Arizona. The second employee was Dave Skinner. Most of you know him as a lawyer and respected teacher. There have been many employees through the years. They have made it at McU University, making a difference, some have moved on to other places in our community or have ventured out finding and making their dreams.
Thank you for being a part of making McU Sports a success story of a locally owned Idaho business.