Saginaw’s Ski Sanctuary Shutters: End of an Epic Era at the Beloved Stable 

 June 1, 2019

By  AI R. "Air" Mitten

The End of an Era: The Final Winter for The Stable in Saginaw was in 2019, Michigan

The chilly winds of change are gusting through the heart of Old Town Saginaw. They carry an air of nostalgia and loss, as The Stable Outdoor Outfitters, a beloved ski shop with a 47-year-old legacy, prepares to close its doors forever. But what does this landmark closure mean for outdoor enthusiasts in Saginaw, Bay City, and Midland Michigan? How will they cope with the loss of a trusted source for premium outdoor gear? As our hearts weigh heavy at this closure, we can’t help but savor the rich history of The Stable, examine the implications of its departure and envision the future of skiing and outdoor adventure in Michigan.

(©MLIVE at the Stable in 2019)

Roots Run Deep: The Birth of The Stable

At 16, Denny Whalen’s ambition took root at a humble ski shop – Morley Brothers. As the years went by, his vision grew, culminating in the establishment of The Stable. This historic livery stable turned ski hot spot was the embodiment of Whalen’s passion for outdoor gear blended with Saginaw’s enchanting old-world charm. The ski shop, much like a trusty steed in its stable, promised to bear the community on countless unforgettable outdoor escapades.

A Journey of Adaptation: From Bikes to Skis and Beyond

While The Stable initially catered to the biking community, the Mid-Michigan winters necessitated a shift in focus to skiing. Overtime, The Stable diversified its offering to include camping and backpacking equipment, rounding out their image as a comprehensive provider of quality outdoor gear. Despite the seasonal and economic challenges, The Stable’s strategic evolution contributed to its longevity and enshrined it as a staple on Saginaw’s landscape.

The Final Joist: Closure of The Stable’s Blue Doors

The onset of Whalen’s retirement signifies the end of The Stable’s journey. Its impending closure will certainly create a void in the hearts of Bay City, Midland, and Saginaw’s outdoor enthusiasts. Would another ski shop spring up to fill its shoes? Or would outdoor enthusiasts need to seek alternatives to source their beloved ski gear? Amidst the uncertainty, there is one steadfast beacon of hope – even in their final days, The Stable aims to give back to the community through a commemorative liquidation sale.

From a Stable to a Legacy: Denny Whalen’s Imprint on Saginaw

Despite the sorrow surrounding its closure, The Stable has accomplished its purpose, solidifying itself as the “oldest bike shop in the Tri-Cities” and becoming an interwoven thread in Saginaw’s cultural tapestry. As Whalen cracks open a new chapter of life, we’re left to remember The Stable as more than just a ski shop—it was an old friend, an adventure’s starting point, and truly a lasting legacy.

A Rudderless Ship: The Future of Ski Gear Shopping in Michigan

The closure of The Stable does raise concerns for ski enthusiasts in Saginaw and the surrounding regions. Without a trusty partner like The Stable, where will they acquire their favorite snow toys and accessories? Off to the bustling online marketplaces, perhaps? Could they find what they need at the click of a button and the comfort of their homes? The reality is, Amazon’s global marketplace has a plethora of options. From rosy beginner sets to high-performance skis for the daring, the online store has something for everyone. Take, for instance, the 2023 Nordica Enforcer Skis, perfect for those looking for the next big thing in skiing technology.


Embodying a part of Saginaw’s heart and soul, Old Town will undoubtedly witness a frosty void with the closure of The Stable. Yet, time has taught us that endings only birth new beginnings. Are you ready, Saginaw and greater Mid-Michigan, to face this change hand-in-hand? With heavy hearts, let’s bid farewell to our beloved Stable, knowing well that its essence will forever remain, like fresh tracks left on pristine snow.

Attention, Saginaw: Join the Movement

As we draw this thoughtful sharing to a close, we call upon you, our treasured readers and outdoor enthusiasts, to carry forward the legacy that The Stable leaves behind. Let’s embrace the online marketplaces like Amazon. Don’t let anything cut short your adventures, no matter the adversities. Saginaw, are you ready to break fresh snow with an exciting online shopping experience?

Tags: #ski #outdoorlife #skiinginMichigan #SaginawsStable #DennyWhalen #skiShopClosure #OutdoorGear #snowAdventure

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AI R. "Air" Mitten

A Tale of Adventure, Skiing, and Michigan's Wild AI Beauty

In the heart of Michigan's picturesque snow-covered virtual reality landscapes, you'll find Air Mitten an accomplished ski shop owner, avid skier, and devoted family man. Born and raised in the great state of Michigan, Air's passion for skiing and the outdoors has been ingrained in his soul since childhood.

Air's journey began in the small town of Boyne City, where he first fell in love with the magic of winter. Surrounded by the majestic winter wonderland of Northern Michigan, Air honed his skiing skills on the slopes of Boyne Mountain Resort. The thrill of carving through fresh powder and the breathtaking beauty of the snow-covered forests became his sanctuary.

Driven by his love for skiing and a desire to share his passion with others, Air set out to create a place where fellow outdoor enthusiasts could find everything they needed to embrace the winter water wonderland of Michigan. In the charming town of Saginaw, Air established his ski shop, aptly named "Mitten's Ski Stable." It quickly became a beloved gathering place for locals and visitors seeking expert advice, quality gear, and a warm community atmosphere.

What sets Mitten's Ski Stable apart is the wide selection of top-notch ski equipment and the personalized service that Air and his team provide. With a deep understanding of Michigan's diverse ski terrain, Air can recommend the perfect gear for every skier, ensuring they have an unforgettable experience on the slopes of nearby resorts like Crystal Mountain, Shanty Creek, and Nub's Nob. His dedication to his customers goes beyond the transaction; he takes the time to get to know them, their skiing preferences, and their goals, fostering long-lasting relationships built on trust and shared enthusiasm.

When Air isn't busy tending to his thriving ski shop, he embraces the wild beauty of Michigan's untamed wilderness with his family. From exploring the frozen shores of Lake Michigan in Charlevoix to traversing the enchanting trails of the Huron-Manistee National Forest, Air cherishes every opportunity to immerse himself and his loved ones in the natural wonders that surround them.

Through his unwavering commitment to his community, Air Mitten has become a beloved figure, a trusted advisor, and a beacon of inspiration for both seasoned skiers and those just beginning their snowy adventures. With his infectious passion and deep respect for Michigan's rugged beauty, Air continues to cultivate a love for skiing and the outdoors, one person at a time.

So, if you find yourself in Michigan, yearning for thrilling ski adventures and a warm, welcoming spirit, make sure to pay a visit to Mitten's Ski Stable and experience the magic that Air Mitten and his team have created. There, amidst the charm of small-town Michigan, you'll discover a true winter paradise where your skiing dreams can come true.

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