Meet Your Merchant: Ski/snowboard tech in tune with his dream job
How did your business start?
A nagging 20-year-old dream, great timing and a fortuitous circumstance. I actually listened to my heart and the voice of my business mentor Brian Mahon at Eldora Mountain Resort. I’ve been in the ski industry for 20 years and have always wanted to open my own shop. With the closing of the shop I was working at here in town, and the chance to occupy the Glenwood Adventure Co.’s business space in the winter, it seemed the ideal time to fill the hole left in the marketplace. Tremendous support from the local snow sports community made the decision to open an easy one.
What do you sell?
I’d like to believe an overall experience — a different take on the in-town tune and rental shop. I’m making a real effort at bringing the on-mountain shop feel to downtown Glenwood Springs. Ski shops are magical places, and the feeling and energy of an on-mountain shop can be taken off the slope with the right touch and delivery. Tunes are not one size fits all. I offer personalized race tunes, premium ski and snowboard tunes, and rentals. In reality, I am selling my passion for all things that slide on snow.
Why do you like what you do?
Tuning skis and snowboards has been my passion since working in a small shop in Denver in 1996. I have an absolute love for snow and being in the mountains. Snow sports has permeated every aspect of my life to the point that I think about it every day, even in the summer. I have the opportunity to work with other people’s toys that bring them closer to their environment, which brings me absolute joy. If in any way my work has enhanced someone’s experience in the mountains, it’s worth it. I empathize with the rider’s experience and pour that into every tune and rental.
What strategy do you use to hire good people?
When I can afford to hire an employee other than myself, I would look for a passionate, dedicated crafts person willing to learn. There is a shortage of professionally trained ski technicians in North America, and I hope to pass along any knowledge to contribute to the craft.
What is your strategy for growth in the next year?
I strive to work for the continued support of customers and local professionals in order to expand high-end performance rentals and launch into a complete soft goods line.
What is the best thing about running a business here?
I feel fortunate every day to be part of a tradition in one of the only towns in Colorado to have been founded on tourism. I am servicing skis and snowboards and facilitating rentals for world-class resorts. We have a special gift here in the Roaring Fork Valley for on-snow opportunities that are not available in other places. To occupy a historic storefront is a significant motivator. I appreciate that people have been walking through the front door of 715 Cooper since 1887. Plus, I love trains and am across the street from the Amtrak station.
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For over 30 years, Darcy Carstens has helped people and businesses connect with the marketing opportunities that best help them with newspapers across Swift Communications.