Usually it’s the fledgling tech companies that flock to bigger cities to find talent.
Turns out at least one ski maker has run into the same problem.
Meier Skis has slid down from Glenwood Springs to a new $60,000 production facility and showroom at 970 Yuma St. They’ll set up a new production facility, showroom, tuning shop in about 3,000 square feet at a warehouse undergoing renovations.
Co-owner Ted Eynon said he’s coming to Denver to solve a hiring problem he ran into up the hill.
“We had a difficult time getting employees in Glenwood,” he said. “There are only so many people who live out there, so it was tough to get a large enough population that was interested in working in ski production, which is hard work.”
Meier’s ski-tuning business is already up and running on Yuma Street, where they’ll repair their brand’s skis and any others a customer brings in. Eynon said he plans to have the rest of the shop open by Thanksgiving.
Meier Skis started eyeing Denver three years ago, Eynon said. It took a while to find a space because the company was looking for a specific combination of manufacturing space in a more accessible area for customers to find.
“We didn’t want to be in an industrial park out in the middle of nowhere,” he said. “We wanted to be in close proximity to downtown, and very accessible and visible to major arteries and highways.”
The new headquarters will include production space separated by a glass wall from Meier’s retail store and showroom. Meier will stock its skis and snowboards as well as soft goods like hats and T-shirts.
Meier will also have a custom ski area where picky buyers can design their own skis and boards: starting with their camber preference and measurements, moving to their own custom artwork and finishing with details like the color of the sidewalls.
And while buyers are browsing, Eynon said Meier will keep them hydrated with a Colorado beer or glass of wine from an in-house bar.
“Customers can sit at the bar, talk to a ski-tender, learn about our production products, the materials we use and see the guys actually pressing skis and snowboards,” Eynon said. “We think it works out well for us to have a nice comfortable, relaxed place to talk to clients and folks who are interested in the ski-making process.”
Meier skis started out in 2009, when founder and co-owner Matt Cudmore launched the company out of his garage in Glenwood Springs. Eynon, who previously launched a mobile mapping software company that he sold to GE, came on board four years ago after leaving GE.
Meier is the second ski and snowboard brand to set up in Denver after leaving a home in the mountains this year. Weston Snowboards made the trip from the Vail Valley this year, and is setting up shop at Battery 621 on Kalamath Street.
Liberty Skis is also bulking up its Denver operations, fresh off a capital campaign that has added more than $2.2 million to the company’s coffers.
The building Meier will occupy is a former warehouse, being renovated by the same team that built Battery 621 and Industry in RiNo. The group, headed by Jason Winkler, bought the building at the end of last year for slightly more than $2 million.
Eynon said he’s hoping to see a brewery or distillery, as well as other outdoors brands fill the rest of the building.
For now, Meier and its nine employees are the only ones working out of 970 Yuma St. And that whole manpower problem went away pretty quickly in Denver.
“Here we have been blessed to have, with just one Facebook post, all of our positions filled,” Eynon said.