So, you’re getting all excited about your upcoming family ski and snowboard holiday to Mount Wannabe.
Your spouse and kids have also bought into this jaunt halfway across the continent, and they’re just as amped as you are. They’re so jazzed, in fact, that they’ve practically got their suitcases and gear bags packed nearly a week beforehand.
And you look at this mountain luggage and think, If we have to lug all this stuff around with us, from home to the airport and from the airport to the resort, plus do all that again on the return trip, my back’s not gonna be in any condition to ski.
So you decide to jettison the hard goods — boots, boards, poles, maybe even helmets — to lighten the load and figure on getting the gear at the resort. But standing around in a long line at Mount Wannabe’s rental shop waiting to be processed is not your — or your family’s — idea of a good time.
What’s a harried vacationer to do?
Concierge rental services
How about checking out one of the two concierge rental services that are based in the West, Ski Butlers and Black Tie Rentals?
Ski Butlers works with 47 destination resorts in six states (California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming), one Canadian province (British Columbia) and France, while Black Tie Rentals operates in more than 35 high-end resorts in five states (California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Utah) and two Canadian provinces (Alberta and British Columbia).
Each company works roughly the same way: You place an order for what you want/need before arriving to your resort of choice; a representative of the company shows up at your condo/hotel room/chalet at a designated time; the rep fits you and your traveling companions to the gear of choice, and voila! you’re ready to hit the hill. Each company even has slopeside service if you need to switch equipment or have mechanical problems with your gear.
The cost for convenience
These services do come at a price, though.
You’ll be looking to pay $60-$75 per day, depending on locale, for “premium” level gear (there are also less pricy “performance” and “basic” packages as well as junior options). For instance, if you book a mid-week vacation in February to Lake Tahoe and opt to use Ski Butlers’ performance package for four days, you’re looking to shell out around $230 per person. Similarly, if you book a four-day, mid-February performance package with Black Tie Rentals in the Park City area, it’ll cost you around $265 a pop.
But the price is probably well worth it for the sake of convenience.
And you won’t have to be a Sherpa to all your and your family’s gear.