Friday, November 6, 2009


During those first five years of operation, the rental building at Fun Valley was pretty small. As in real small......both the building and the quantities of rentals.........but like everything too changed and got bigger and better. Initially there were four wooden platforms about three steps high that the patron would climb after putting the ski boots on. When on top of the platform, hanging on to a handrail, the rental shop employee who was still on the ground would adjust, try and probably adjust again, the bindings to fit the person and the boot. It worked but as the business grew........along came the spademen binding that made the rental process way faster. A steel plate was permanently attached to the bottom of the ski boot.........and the plate had a large V notch on both the right and left side. The binding would receive the notched plate which aligned the boot to the binding and gripped the boot to the binding. All we had to do was adjust the tension on the large springed latch at the back side of each binding. This was fast......way fast compared to the earlier process of unscrewing, moving, tightening, trying, etc that was "the way" a couple years earlier. At the time of the spademen bindings I want to say the rental inventory had grown to 700 pair of skis and boots.

For the first several years the majority .........maybe all..........of the labor was performed by family. I did most of the instructions the first few years and then worked in the rental department as it grew. Younger brothers bridged the instructors gap first and right behind that was a slew of nieces and nephews that got involved in every facet of the business..........including the food side. I believe Dad handled the majority of the retail end.........which at that time included full lines of clothing, skis, boots and bindings as well as the misc. items. It was a pretty large department at one time...........before the big box stores entered the picture.

enjoy your weekend. I will try to get some pics of the new trail and post here in a couple days.

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