When it comes to ski shops, there are certain things that most have across the board. Most will have a selection of gear and apparel, a boot fitting section, tuning and repairs, maybe a rental department, and of course, their ski wall. So, with similar gear and services, how do you pick the right shop for you? What makes a ski shop special?
The difference at Jans isn’t something we just talk about, it boils down to things we practice day after day, season after season. Our sales team has real product knowledge—not just from reading a catalog. It comes from hours of clinics and demos with our brand partners and actually testing the skis that we offer, all of them.
We carry gear and apparel from top brands for ski, bike, and mountain lifestyle. Our buying team works closely with our brand partners to bring you the best selection of outdoor gear. Those brand relationships are key when it comes to educating our sales team through onsite clinics.
Understanding the products from each brand is really important for our staff to make recommendations. Sometimes brand-specific technology and product names can sound a bit like jargon. Our team can help explain the nuanced differences between items and how certain technologies translate to real-world performance advantages.
When we say that our sales staff skis all the models we carry, the significance may be lost on some. Maybe you’re thinking, of course someone working in a ski shop tries lots of skis. And yes, that’s true. But Jans takes it a step further by getting our whole team on the mountain for back-to-back comparison testing on every ski in our shop at the beginning of the ski season.
With great coverage from snowmaking and consistently excellent grooming, Deer Valley was an ideal setting for this year’s early-season ski testing. I joined the testing group on the mountain, and it took a full day of skiing to work through the various models in our ski wall. We left Jans at Snow Park Lodge, each with a different ski, and swapped in rotation every couple runs, sometimes mid-run. On the chairlifts we discussed our notes on how each ski performed and which type of skier or skiing style would be a good fit.
We repeated this for four batches of skis: women’s, carving, all-mountain, and all-mountain wide—over 30 different skis in all. Everyone in the group tested each ski in the same length, which meant sometimes we were on skis longer or shorter than normal for us. This was a helpful reminder to match my skiing to the size and style of each model and its intended skier. And, thinking about the intended skier is the whole point.
There is a best ski for everyone. The skis we tested may not have been suited for the testers personally, but each of those models is a best ski for someone. This is one of those things that makes Jans special. Our gear team can speak to the differences between models because they’ve actually skied them and felt the differences.
A Different Kind of Service
When it comes to our ski shop and what we can offer our customers, Jans is second to none. No other shop offers overnight tunes at the Rennstall Tech Center. Drop your skis off at Jans on Park Ave for a world-class tune—on the same Wintersteiger Jupiter tuning machine our technicians use for World Cup and Olympic athletes.
Jans is committed to taking care of our customers with services that build long-term relationships. We offer custom boot fitting—by walk-in or appointment—at our Park Ave and Deer Valley Snow Park locations. And with a custom fitting from Jans, you’re covered for the life of the boots, which means you can bring your boots in for as many adjustments as needed to get your fit right.
Our Kids Trade In, Trade Up program is designed to help families manage the expenses of replacing ski gear for their growing kids. Many of us started skiing as children, and we know how important skiing is for kids in the Park City community. That’s why we support organizations like the Youth Sports Alliance and do what we can to help parents to get their kids on the slopes.
So what makes Jans different? Well, it includes what we’ve discussed here, and more. From hands-on—and on-snow—experience, to top-level services, and a focus on community, Jans is far more than just a ski shop. Our founder, Jan Peterson, wanted to provide the best gear and service to our customers and community. Our president, Russ Coburn, summed it up pretty well in a recent interview with Park City Style magazine, “We still treat the customers as you would a guest in your home.” Stop by Jans and see for yourself why we should be your ski shop.
By Chris Norwood, Ecommerce Manager, jans.com