Gandalf (the storm, not the Lord of the Rings character) hit the Wasatch Front earlier this month, I remember being grateful the snow I was shoveling from my walk way was as light as powdered sugar. It was the snow that reminded my why many a Utah license plate boldly claim “Greatest Snow on Earth.”
The white stuff attracts a lot of visitors. It certainly helped Salt Lake land the 2002 Winter Games.
So when visitors are taking a winter vacation to indulge in Utah’s powder pleasure, the last thing they want to do is deal with the aggravation of waiting at a ski shop for a lame product that they’ve got to schlep back and forth between their accommodations.
Enter Ski Butlers.
Bryn Carey, the entrepreneurial genius behind the company explains:
“During my final semester at the University of New Hampshire, I began to brainstorm ideas for a new company, and I came up with the idea for Ski Butlers. One of the biggest hassles of a ski vacation is traveling to a ski rental shop, standing in line, and renting low quality ski gear.”
We hear you Bryn – loud and clear!
“I knew there would be a market for ski rental delivery if I could make [it] an ‘effortless’ process with the entire focus on customer service,” Carey continues. “The sport of skiing is also something that I have a passion for – so it was a natural fit.”
Nice to know one doesn’t have to be a character on Downton Abbey for private valet service. Carey breaks down the business to brass tacks (or bindings, if you prefer):
“Ski Butlers delivers ski and snowboard rentals to its customers in over 30 North American ski resorts. The concept of ski rental delivery is simple; make renting ski and snowboard equipment convenient and hassle-free by delivering the best quality equipment to the accommodations of our customers with the highest level of customer service.”
Another perk that comes with the personalized service is the support during the rental period AND pick up on the last day. (Ahhh, schlep no more my friends!) Plus customer information is stored in the Ski Butlers’ system, so if you’re touring the pow-pow across the US, you can rent at any of the 30 locations across the nation and rental forms are already complete!
From a business perspective, you know the company’s doing plenty right. They’re decorated in awards for service and prestige. Last year Ski Butlers was a US Chamber of Commerce DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Western Region Finalist, and the Park City Chamber nominated them for the 2012 US Chamber Award (out of 1200 local businesses). They were named Vail Valley Platinum Service Award Winner in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, and are the only ski shop in Vail to win for five consecutive years.
Naturally, the press has caught on. Ski Butlers has been featured and recognized in local publications across the country and heavy hitters like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to the Huffington Post and GQ. Swanky! Of course, plugs in Outside Magazine, Ski Magazine, Ski Racing and Conde Nast Traveler don’t hurt. The list continues, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve already exhausted my word count.
For more information about Ski Butlers and their tremendous product and company visit them at skibutlers.com. They also have a walk-in store in Park City, Utah financed in part with an SBA 504 loan by Mountain West Small Business Finance.
Mountain West Blogger