Traditionally, renting skis has never been an overly enjoyable process: You wait in line at ski shops to rent old/beat up equipment, and have to make sure that you get to the ski shops to pick up and drop off your gear during their business hours.
But one company is primed to change the entire climate of how people go about renting their winter gear.
Started in 2004, Ski Butlers was founded on the basic principle that, ultimately, there had to be a better way to go about renting ski equipment.
“It was pretty simple. I got out of college at the University of New Hampshire, and had a summer business pouring asphalt,” Bryn Carey, the founder of Ski Butlers, told GrindTV. “I was looking for something else. I had grown up in the ski industry and I wanted to find a way to make my passion for the ski world into a full-time job.”
“I just remembered that for my whole life, going into rental shops was literally the worst part of any ski vacation I went on,” Carey continued. “So I wondered, ‘What if I could deliver better skis with better customer service?’ I thought about it for five minutes and decided to go for it.”
Starting in his adopted home of Park City, Utah, Carey wanted to see if he could build a customer base through over-the-top service.
He offered to deliver high quality, well-maintained skis and boots and personally fit them to each customer’s needs.
He recommended which skis beginners should use, fitted first-timers for boots and was available to deliver or pick up the skis at almost any time of the day. And he did it all for less than the price of renting at the resort rental shops.
“I never had any grand plans to expand into new locations,” Carey told GrindTV. “It was just, ‘Let’s start it in Park City and see what happens.’ And almost immediately, the customers were so happy. We started selling out our inventory for entire months.”
“It has always been about straight-up customer service,” Carey said. “We’re going to make sure you get the best skis, delivered to you and picked up at your convenience, in a way that enhances your ski vacation.”
Carey explains that Ski Butlers employees are paid bonuses based on customer feedback scores that customers submit, which puts the impetus on his employees to go above and beyond what is expected.
“We’ll do anything within our power to make your trip better,” Carey told GrindTV. “If you want a park ski one day and a powder ski the next, we’ll come back each day to change out your skis. Heck, if we’re not too busy we might just drop off both skis at once and say have fun.”
That commitment to service seems to have paid off: Ski Butlers has perfect business reviews on Trip Advisors for many of their locations and a near-perfect score on their Google business profile.
In its 13th season, the company now services 37 ski resorts in the United States and has a deal with Rossignol to offer 15 different types of skis, as well as four types of snowboards from the manufacturer for rental.
Put simply, the upward growth of Ski Butlers doesn’t seem to be slowing, and Carey is thrilled about that.
“I’m always humbled by how much positive feedback we receive,” said Carey. “Our mission is to be the worldwide ski rental delivery service in the future. We want to offer our services wherever we are needed.”