According to McConnell, there are 12 other Black Tie locations in Colorado, Montana, California and Canada. The first shop opened in Steamboat Springs, Colo. in 2000, and his shop has been open in Park City since the winter of 2006.
"We are all part of a larger network," McConnell said. "Each shop is locally owned and operated, so we know our specific market and clientele and provide personalized service to each one."
Two years after opening, McConnell met Ryan Mancl and hired him as general manager of the shop on Prospector Avenue.
Mancl attended Gogebic Community College in Michigan majoring in Ski Area Management. This is his sixth season working with McConnell on sales, marketing and general management at Black Tie.
The rental shop is a ski and snowboard equipment delivery service. McConnell said that customers call and provide specifications like height, weight and shoe size, and delivery technicians pull their sizes and deliver the equipment to their lodging area as well as pick up the equipment when they are done using it.
Delivery technicians take the equipment to customers in what Mancl called "monster bags," large, black bags that can carry up to six pairs of skis. They fit the equipment on customers in their rooms and provide switch-outs from back-stock in their vans or back at the shop, free of charge, should customers need it.
"There are other delivery shops in Park City, but we are the best one," Mancl said. "We not only supply rental equipment but customer service, making sure we deliver, pick up and switch out equipment on time and when it is most convenient for the customer."
McConnell and Mancl say the majority of their clientele are repeat customers and referrals due to their dedication to customer service.
Mancl said that all employees are binding-tested and certified every year so that they are knowledgeable and can provide safe, sturdy equipment. They hand-select the pieces of ski and snowboard gear beginning with the boots, which he said make a world of difference.
The measurements are then stored in the shop's system, so if a customer rents from a Black Tie shop in a different location, other shops will have their measurements.
Black Tie carries Atomic, Nordica, Dalbello, Blizzard, K2 and Lucky, among other lines. Mancl said that the products are brand-new this winter, because the shop renews equipment every two years.
"The equipment starts coming in during the middle of October," Mancl said. "So it's like Christmas in here every day right now."
Black Tie will open for the winter season when the first chair lifts start moving. Park City Mountain Resort is scheduled to be the first to open on Saturday, Nov. 23. McConnell and Mancl confirmed that they will be offering a "locals discount" this winter season starting that day.
The special will include ski or snowboard rentals to any locals with a valid Utah driver's license at half-off the racks from opening day until Dec. 12.
"We just want customers to have a laid-back, relaxed experience here in Park City instead of waiting in long lines during the holidays," Mancl said. "Our customers can expect one-on-one service in the comfort of their home or lodging."
Black Tie Ski Rental