In lockstep with the globe-spanning season pass duopoly that has made that most well-rounded of men—the multi-resort skier—is a rental service in a class of its own. Meet: Ski Butlers.
It’s the brainchild of CEO, Bryn Carey, who started the company in 2004 out of a garage in Park City. It was his senior year at the University of New Hampshire.
And over the past 20 years, Ski Butlers has moved out of that garage to win a foothold in 50 ski areas, worldwide, including some of the biggest names in the industry—Jackson Hole, Steamboat, Whistler, Aspen, Sun Valley. And overseas, they’ve added the major French and Italian contenders to the roster—Courchevel and Val d’Isere, Cortina d’Ampezzo and Val di Fassa to name a few.
In 2022, Mammoth Mountain was added to the list. The addition of MMSA marked Ski Butlers’ first major expansion after having been acquired by Alterra Mountain Company—the hospitality conglomerate, ski resort mogul (pun intended) and purveyor of the IKON Pass.
Here’s how it works:
Say I’m someone slightly dissatisfied with the snowfall in my backyard, and slightly strapped for cash. Again, just a hypothetical.
I might decide to pay my friends in Eagle County a visit to try my hand and heels at the Rockies. But I’m flying a budget airline. Don’t wanna pay to check a ski bag. And I’ve only got a weekend before I’m scheduled to work both my jobs (again, just a hypothetical). Who wants the hassle or time sink of standing in line at a rental shop, only for a pair of ill-fitted, ten-year-old ski boots?
Well, Ski Butlers has put the “in and out” back into “ski in, ski out.”
To use the service, I would book my equipment through the website or call my local outfit, directly. Like anything else on my itinerary—airfare, lodging—the further out I make my reservation, the better rate I’ll be cut. Pricing is variable—Ski Butlers, as an Alterra affiliate, adjusts pricing based off the mountain’s corporate “dynamic pricing” determination.
Once I’m at my destination—be that my Airbnb, a base lodge, or the guard rail overlooking Loveland Pass—a Ski Butlers van will meet me, fit my boots, adjust my bindings, and remain on call for the rest of my rental period so I don’t have to lift a finger or a screwdriver. If something goes awry with my equipment, a technician will be dispatched to remedy the issue on sight. If I decide, three hours into riding, I want to switch from snowboarding to skiing, there’s no penalty to my rental agreement.
When the weekend is through, and it’s time to pack up and ship out, I can leave my rentals for pickup at whatever location is most convenient for me (I’m busy, remember). All I have to do is take a photo for liability purposes, submit it to my assigned technician, and go on my merry, ski-bagless way.
I could get used to having a butler. Hypothetically speaking.
“I would say we’re a customer service company, before we’re a ski rental company,” says Liv Miller, a manager at Ski Butler’s Mammoth location. “It’s about doing whatever it takes to help people get around and enjoy their experience in the mountains.”
According to Miller, an experienced client might have a specific preference for a Wagner ski they rented through Ski Butlers, prior, or a Whitespace board they took a shining to last season in Park City. Repeat clients’ information and past rental history remains cataloged in the company’s system for added convenience. Wherever your ski pass goes, Ski Butlers is sure to follow.
But for clients newer to the slopes, Ski Butlers is still a mainstay. Beyond the technical components of boot-fitting and rental-chauffeuring, Ski Butlers employees are often the first faces tourist clientele see upon getting into town.
“You have these people coming in from across the country. They’ve never been to Mammoth. They don’t know anybody,” says Miller. “So it helps to talk to someone tied down to the community, here. They’re grateful for it.”
And as for those oh-so technical components, new to first-time skiers: “You tell them, ‘Yeah, ski boots are uncomfortable. It’s gonna be really hard at first, but it just gets better from there.”
And for Miller, that community-driven ethos is what makes Ski Butlers a company she’s proud to work for.
“I mean, almost everyone who’s a higher-up in the company started out as a technician. And they just cared about the mission of getting people outdoors. They cared about their communities,” says Miller. “That’s why being part of, and helping our community, here, is important to the structure of the business.”
Next week, Ski Butlers will be practicing what it preaches. On January 16th, and in partnership with the nonprofit Protect Our Winters, they’ll be hosting a free watch party of Connor Ryan and Tim Kressin’s Spirit of the Peaks. Beer will be flowing, courtesy of June Lake Brewing, and proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center. The event will take place at Ski Butlers business location on Commerce Dr.