Ski Butlers Blog - 2011

The Sweet Sounds of Summer in Whistler

Here I sit on yet another rainy summer day in Whistler.  But who am I to complain when for the past 2 nights I and mine got to enjoy 2 free- Yes Free! - outdoor concerts featuring 2 Canadian rock and roll masters.  Set up in the newly designed Olympic plaza, productions presented by none other than the Municipality of Whistler, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider on Friday night and Colin James and his Little Big Band on Saturday.


Bringing me back to my teenage years, Tom and the boys played both Tom Cochrane hits and the golden oldies by Red Rider.  For those of you non-Canadians, if these names don’t strike a chord, you’ll definitely remember dancing in the bar or the après ski club to Tom Cochrane’s greatest hit “Life is a Highway”.


Colin James’ magic on his guitar – trained by the one and only legend Stevie Ray Vaughn, sure can get the crowd to its feet.  Colin and his band thrilled the fans with some of his newer swing music and many of his original hits like “Just Came Back”, “Why’d You Lie”, and a great cover of Van the Man’s “Into The Mystic”.


All in all - a fantastic weekend for everyone.  While the diverse crowd was mesmerized by the performers on stage, the artists enjoyed views of their fans under the amazing vista of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains lit up by the full moon.


These are just 2 of many in a series of Canadian artists featured in the Olympic venue this summer.  Oh, and did I mention they’re all free?  Whistler in the summer – a pretty great place to be while waiting for the snow to fall once again.  It makes my heart glow, eh!



Tags: whistler

In Lake Tahoe......Life is Good

As summer races by, my excitement for this coming season grows with each new day. Although life at Ski Butlers is unrelenting, I am constantly reminded of this by the massive amount of snowpack that remains in the high country. And the prediction of another La Nina winter has me chomping at the bit for ski season to arrive. The funny thing is I actually sold 2 pairs of skis on August 5. Apparently, I am not the only one.

Despite the many new developments at Ski Butlers this year, my focus remains on strengthening our Lake Tahoe locations and delivering legendary service in a way never before experienced. From our company culture to our community involvement program, Ski Butlers is surely changing the ski rental industry. 
A quick overview of whats left of this summer's Lake Tahoe event calendar: Hot August nights is currently underway and will be in Reno by the weekend. Come check out the sweetest hot rods and classic cars. Phish will take the stage at Harvey's Outdoor Ampitheater for two nights, perhaps the most sought after concert of the summer. Also, don't miss the slough of SUP(stand-up paddleboard) events coming as well as the Tahoe Expo, a two-day event that showcases Lake Tahoe as a geotourism destination while educating the public on this regions sustainable practices. 
I hope summer is treating everyone well and that the heat wave hasn't kept you indoors too much. Lets soak it up and enjoy the rest of the summer before the snow flies again. Farewell from Lake Tahoe. I will be in touch in the fall with a breakdown of resort improvements for the 2011/12. Pray for Snow!

Tags: tahoe

What does Ski Butlers do in the off-season?

 “What does Ski Butlers do in the off season?”  #1 question this time of year – and the answer is…….  “Um, I’m not sure, but I’m always busy”


So I figured it was time I sat down and looked back through the ole’ Journal and came up with a good answer to that question.  So here it goes, starting when the lifts finally shut down:


First thing – we sleep, usually for a good 12-36 hours.  Then upon waking we read through 4 months of newspapers and watch many, many hours of Tivo’d Daily Show and Simpsons episodes.  Once caught up on the world and feeling somewhat normal we migrate for a long weekend to some place hot – like Moab, UT – for a bit of camping, hiking and biking.  Upon return its right back in to Ski Butlers – can’t waste a moment from here on out, Ski Season is only 6 ½ months away.


Once our Khakis’ and Red Vests are cleaned, ironed and hermetically sealed for next season we can begin the off-season training program.  This training takes place in the Ski Butlers Proving Ground and Delivery Scenario Assessment Center, or S.B.P.G.D.S.A.C for short.  This is a state of the art, 30,000 sq. ft. facility in an undisclosed location – it has the ability to simulate any and every possible scenario our Team Members may encounter while delivering skis.  For example, there is the 6 story metal grated stairwell to climb with 2 boot bags and 8 pair of skis; there is the driving test where Team Members must avoid several large SUV’s slipping and sliding on slick roads and of course the most difficult and probably the best test of mental integrity – the Bichon Boot Fitting.  Team Members must fit three 10 year olds while fending off the nips and barks of 5 Bichon Frise – terrifying. 


Okay so that is mostly a lie, the truth is that we typically are working locally to build up Ski Butlers and internally to refine our operations.  This summer has been a little different, we began our “Turn-Key” project before the season ended and really got into it in the months following.  What is this project?  We decided that before we really began to expand (10 locations isn’t expanded?) we would document all processes that are involved with Ski Butlers, from how we pack orders to how our Social Media will be handled.  Why?  It’s all about Customer Service – born out of this came our Core Values and the cementing of the Ski Butlers Culture – a culture based around delivering legendary service.  “We are a customer service company who happens to rent skis.” 


One of the great by-products of this was our want to focus on Community Involvement; we want Ski Butlers to be a part of every community we are involved with.  This summer all full-time Team Members and some seasonal Team Members have been active in their respective community, from volunteering at various benefit races, working the phones of a local pledge drive, or helping to organize a community around sustaining their beautiful and very blue lake.  The Community Involvement piece of Turn-Key is one that may be most obvious to the public; the rest of Turn-key will make itself very evident to all of our customers.


So there it is, work as usual, or a bit unusual, but that’s what makes a Ski Butler a Ski Butler.  We have Team Members who are excited every day to come to work and be part of something bigger than themselves – it’s not just a means to go skiing, and it’s something we at Ski Butlers are very proud of.  We do get out of the office as well – we live in some of the most beautiful places in the country and it would be a shame not to.

Tags: offseason

You Can't Beat a Park City Summer

Almost anyone who spends a summer in a mountain resort town will tell you that it rivals the winter when it comes to the variety of activities you can participate in, and truth be told, it may actually surpass it.  Park City, UT is no different.  Being from the east coast, the thing I enjoy most about spending my summers in Park City is the fact that my friends and I never have to be concerned about planning our activity of choice around the weather.  Growing up, I could never plan a hike, bike ride, or camping trip more than two days out because the weather was so unpredictable.  If your trip was going to last more than one day it seemed you were almost certain to get wet or at least rendered immobile because of stifling humidity.  A typical summer forecast in Park City looks more like something you would expect to see in San Diego than the Rocky Mountain west, except for the occasional afternoon shower that allows for the vibrant colors of the mountains to stay well throughout the summer.  This is probably why it seems that increasingly places like Park City are becoming hot spots for Summer vacations.  With a plethora of activities on tap for the outdoor enthusiast, Park City also offers a host of culture oriented events such as wine and food festivals, art shows and live music.  
On any given week from Memorial Day to Labor Day you will have the opportunity to attend several concerts at outdoor venues showcasing both local and national acts thanks to Mountain Town Music, which has sought out to make Park City the live music capital of the Rocky Mountains.  After all the concert going you will more than likely be looking for a tasty meal and lucky for you events such as Savor the Summit, an event that sees every restaurant on Main St offer their signature dishes  in a family style dining setting in the middle of Main St, seem to be the norm throughout during the summer.  To wash down all the good food and music I would recommend the Park City Food and Wine Classic, which takes place at the Canyons Resort.  
These events are Park City staples year in and year out and represent the best that Park City has to offer during the “off-season,” and I use that term very loosely.  

Tags: parkcity