Renting skis not necessarily a sign of a novice

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm •  Published: December 10, 2013
Advertisement
;

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Just like skiing in jeans or falling while waiting in the lift line, renting gear for a visit to the slopes used to be a sure sign of a novice skier.

Not anymore. Increasingly, experienced skiers see renting as an opportunity to use the latest skis — chosen for that day's snow conditions — all while avoiding airline baggage fees.

Sue Killoran is one such convert. Last year, at the end of a business trip (her public relations firm reps some of the ski industry), her husband and their two teenage kids joined her in Utah. All expert skiers, they brought to Alta the skis that they enjoyed so much at home in Vermont.

"It was a waste of money and effort," Killoran said. "Never again will we do that."

Her son's skis were too narrow to float on the Rocky Mountain powder, so they ended up renting him wider, high-performance skis.

"It was really convenient," she said. As conditions changed, "he could switch them out. He was much, much happier."

Just as geography and snowfall can challenge skiers, so too can staying on top of the latest innovations.

As a result, some destination skiers — those who ski primarily when they're away from home — think it's more convenient and even economical to rent than it is to drop $500 to $1,000 buying a pair of skis, said Sean Mirus, marketing director for Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho.

"Instead of buying a ski and using it for their one vacation a year, now people travel to a resort, pay $40 or $50 a day and get the best, top-of-the-line new gear," he said. "You go the next year and again you have brand new gear, and you don't have to worry about taking it on the airplane."

Overall, about 20 percent of those who skied three or more times last year rented at least once, according to the SnowSports Industries America trade group. Even among hardcore skiers who spent at least nine days on the slopes, 7 percent rented for at least a week.

To stay current, many stores upgrade their rental gear on a regular basis. Schweitzer, for instance, has an agreement with the ski manufacturer Rossignol to rotate skis every three years.

As competition heats up among retailers, skiers get more services. Some retailers allow online reservations or provide a free shuttle to their store. Others will bring an assortment of gear to your hotel for you to try.

At the Yampa Valley Regional Airport that services Steamboat Springs, bids are being taken to allow rental companies to work with visitors while they wait for their bags, said airport manager Dave Ruppel.

| |

Advertisement


Trending Now



AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Conservative Activist Claims Women Paid The Same As Men Won't Find Husbands
  2. 2
    Report: Thunder to open playoffs on Saturday
  3. 3
    Former Sonics guard Gary Payton: Durant, Westbrook 'the new era'
  4. 4
    GOP consulting firm employee starts 'Boats 'N Hoes PAC'
  5. 5
    Why One Man Traveled Almost 3,000 Miles To Take On The Federal Government At A Ranch In Nevada
+ show more