Park City-based Vacation Lockers wants to take the hassle out of ski trips
It’s a reality that countless people who have timeshares in Park City or come often for ski vacations face: Lugging ski and snowboard gear onto airplanes or into the trunk of the family SUV is a pain in the neck.
A new Park City-based company thinks it’s found the solution. If Vacation Lockers has its way, that frustrating part of traveling to town can now be a thing of the past.
"We can store anything they want to have but don’t want to haul back and forth," said Dana Guant, one of the founders of the family-owned business. "Some people even drive here, but they don’t want to deal with it every time they come out. If you have a family with a bunch of kids, it’s hard enough to get them going and packed for a regular vacation — but when you have to do all the ski gear, it’s easy to forget something."
Vacation Lockers’ service is simple. Customers purchase lockers, or bins, and stuff them with the ski gear they want to leave in Park City and schedule a time for the company to pick them up. Vacation Lockers then comes to the customers’ timeshare, rental property or hotel, takes the lockers and stashes them in a local storage facility.
When the customers come back to town, they simply arrange with Vacation Lockers to have their bins delivered to wherever they’re staying. In addition to items that fit in the bins, the company will also store larger items such as skis and snowboards.
Floyd Gaunt, Dana’s husband, said the service epitomizes convenience.
"It’s a needed service," he said. "It’s not like a restaurant, where there are already so many. It’s exciting that this is a chance to help people with something that there truly is a need for here."
But storing the lockers and delivering them around Park City isn’t the only service the company provides. Vacation Lockers will also ship the lockers to other places, if customers need to use their ski gear in another town. Dana said the lockers are commercial grade, approved by both FedEx and UPS, and can even be taken on airplanes.
"If people get the Epic Pass and decide they want to go to (Lake) Tahoe, (California), we’ll ship it there, give them a tag to ship it back and store it again for them," Dana said. "Wherever they want to go, we can help them make it happen."
It was Dana and Floyd’s son, Mark, who originally thought up the idea after hearing a common refrain from visitors.
"I’ve been in the resort industry for a while and I get the same question asked 1,000 times," Mark said. "It’s always, ‘I’m going to be back in a couple months or a couple weeks — where do I put my stuff?’ That’s how this all started."
The Gaunt family began thinking seriously about starting the business about a year ago and officially opened in November. The family has a background in small business — it owned a pizza parlor in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina for about 13 years — and the Gaunts are happy to once again put the family name on another venture.
So far, customers and others in the community have been supportive. Dana said that many people have commended them for the uniqueness of the idea.
"It’s been awesome," she said. "It’s a little bit harder to get going than doing a restaurant because with a restaurant you can give away free food. So this is a little harder to market. But it always makes is feel good when people tell us it’s awesome or say, ‘Going through the airport was so easy this time!’ The reception we get has been great. It’s been a wonderful experience."
Vacation Lockers may eventually expand in the future to store summer items like golf clubs and bicycles, as well. In the meantime, Dana said, customers should feel free to ask about special requests, such as sleds. The Gaunts are happy to accommodate their clients’ needs if they can as they try to spread the word about their services.
"The second season, we think, this is going to start ramping up because more people are going to know and realize how convenient this is," Dana said. "We’re excited about that."
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Another ski season is in the books, and much to the relief of the restaurant industry, the outlook, like the weather, is looking sunny.