A chat with Ryan Midiri of Ski Butlers
Park City Lodging is proud to be partnered with another vibrant Park City native – Ski Butlers. Started in 2004 by Bryn Carey out of a single car garage here in town, Ski Butlers has steadily grown into a recognized and award winning business with outlets serving over 44 resorts in North America and Europe, making it the world’s largest ski rental delivery service. Unlike the traditional ski rental shop, Ski Butlers brings the equipment to you, in your condo or even at the mountain. Their size, however, doesn’t diminish each location’s and each individual’s commitment to their community. Here are some insights from Ski Butlers Park City Sales & Brand Manager Ryan Midiri:
PCL – What’s a typical ski delivery like? Any memorable ski delivery stories that you can share?
RM – “We always start with the kids. Kids are excited and interested and usually short on patience. If we can get them fitted first, parents and the other adults are more comfortable for their own fittings. Deliveries generally happen in the late afternoon or early evening, or first thing in the morning. Our techs are essentially going right into people’s homes and they’re very accustomed to being in that personal environment. It’s not unusual for them to get invitations to join in for breakfast or apres and I remember one story about a delivery to a group in a luxury home that was well into a second or third round of mimosas at about 7:00am when our techs got there. They were pretty enthusiastic about getting the techs to join the party. Our guys declined the mimosas but had a lot of fun getting everyone fitted. Of course, we really respect people’s privacy and there are stories we just don’t tell. In Park City we do a lot of business with celebrities, and we’ll just leave it at that.”
PCL – Do you and your staff get to ski yourselves?
RM – “Absolutely we do. In fact we structure our shifts specifically so staff can have time to ski every day, and for people in the office to get out and ski at least once a week. We’re serious about supporting ‘people pursuing their passion in the mountains’ and that’s across the board, guests, techs, corporate. It’s just a great reset and reminds us why we’re here.”
PCL – What kind of trends do you see in ski and snowboard equipment?
RM – “Ski Butlers exclusively uses Rossignol. The partnership is really incredible, and we’re able to refresh 75% – 80% of our inventory every year. Which means we’re sending out new gear with almost every rental. We don’t carry their entire line, but most of it. This year we’re excited about their Experience 88, Sky 7 and Soul 7 skis. One of the advantages of renting with us is that you could try all these skis during your stay, and we’ll bring them to you. We are seeing more and more people who used to own their own high performance equipment but now only own and travel with boots. They know what type of skis they’re looking for and, depending on the conditions, start their vacation with one type then switch to another when conditions change. This ability to easily swap out equipment is especially helpful with kids’ equipment; kids’ skills improve or they even outgrow their equipment by mid-week and it’s just really simple for everyone for us to bring the new equipment to you, as opposed to having to go into a shop. Everyone gets to spend more time on the snow, which means a better vacation.”
PCL – Park City Lodging is very committed to sustainability and Green practices. Ski Butlers is also actively involved in organizations addressing climate change. What can you tell us about your efforts, both here in Park City and across your locations?
RM – “We are deeply committed to becoming 100% renewable energy at all our locations, and being involved POW, Protect Our Winters and Climate Reality’s I AM PRO SNOW 100% to help spread the word. Currently, all of the buildings we own are completely solar powered. We’ve invested in a 100% electric delivery van and we’re committed to buying no more gas-powered vehicles. We’re planning ahead to phase out those vehicles and have a completely electric fleet by 2022, when our research tells us there will be expanded range batteries and a wider range of vehicle options. In the meantime, look for our wrapped Nissan ENV 200 around town.”
PCL – What’s new with your business here in Park City in 18/19? Are you experiencing any trends?
RM – “Business is steadily growing, while having to meet new challenges. We’re seeing more and more people using season passes, such as Vail’s Epic pass and Deer Valley’s Ikon pass. There’s a decrease in loyalty to a specific ski mountain, and more people are making more trips, often following the snow, planning with very short notice. Last minute bookings are becoming more frequent, which is great, but we have had to adjust our model. We don’t worry about having enough inventory – based on experience we’re confident we have enough equipment to handle the busiest time periods, throughout the season. Thankfully, we’ve been adjusting really well and our service scores are staying really high.”
PCL – Ski Butlers has received a number of awards and acknowledgements. Which means the most to you?
RM – “Definitely, being named to the Inc 5000 fastest growing companies list for the past four years is a recognition I’m really proud of, because during these years of growth, our NPS (service scores) have stayed high or grown as well. Ski Butlers’ goal is 90% or higher, which we have consistently achieved and exceeded. Ski Butlers’ company-wide score is 94.62%, and Park City’s average is higher than that.”
(Net Promotor Score (NPS) is a management tool used to gauge the loyalty and satisfaction of a company’s customers.)
PCL – What do you most want people to know about Ski Butlers?
RM – “Our mission statement is simply and powerfully – To make ski vacations convenient. We live out that mission every day.”
PCL – And finally, it’s almost baseball season, less than a month until pitchers and catchers report. Who do you like for the 2019 season?
RM – “Phillies all the way.”
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