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Sport Clips to open in Northgate

Jim Noah stopped off in Redding, California, for a haircut last March.

Without giving it much thought, the traveling salesman, who sells slot machines to gaming companies, popped into Sport Clips Haircuts.

By the time he left, the wheels were turning.

He phoned home to wife, Kim, in Grants Pass and told her "we need to check this out."

A month later, the Noahs were on their way to becoming the first Sport Clips operators in Southern Oregon. The doors open Saturday morning at Northgate Marketplace across the parking lot from Dick's Sporting Goods, next to AT&T.

"We've been looking for some kind of business to get into for a while," said Jim Noah, who admittedly has never cut anyone's hair in his life. "We saw the center going in and jumped on it. We started in April and it usually takes a year, so this is a pretty fast turnaround."

Gordon Logan opened his first sports-themed haircutting shop in 1993 in Georgetown, Texas, and began franchising in 1995. The organization markets heavily on ESPN and satellite radio sportscasts as well as NASCAR. A month ago, Sport Clips opened its 1,600th location for what Entrepreneur Magazine considers one of the fastest-growing franchises in North America.

Given the nature of his day job, Jim Noah knows a thing or two about odds. Still, after his first encounter as a Sport Clips customer, he was willing to bet the house — or at least pony up the first-store franchise fee and start-up costs that run between $183,300 and $351,500, according to the Sport Clips corporate website.

"We wanted to bring something new to the area, something that will be a special experience," Kim Noah said. "When we heard Dick's was coming and Marshalls and HomeGoods, we thought this would be a perfect location with a lot of men and boys coming into the area."

In an area awash in barbershops and salons, including Great Clips and Super Clips, there is plenty of competition for both customers and hairdressers.

"There is a fair amount of moving around in this field," Kim Noah said. "Hairdressers tend to be free spirits."

The 13-person staff led by manager Angel Carlson is geared up for a December of football, basketball and NASCAR on big-screen televisions surrounding the trimming stations.

"We're not trying to get you in and out," Carlson said. "We're trying to serve you with an experience."

— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31

Stefanie Ellis, 31, helps set up Thursday after training at Sport Clips in Medford. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch