Jackson’s Base Camp expands at Park City Mountain Resort base area
Ski rental shop will officially open again on Oct. 21
October 17, 2017
Jackson Knoll grew up renting from ski shops and eventually worked behind the desk at some. He was always frustrated by the lack of selection at rental stores though, so he decided to create one of the largest ski demo shops in Utah.
Knoll, founder and owner of Jackson's Base Camp, took the first step toward his dream in 2013 when he opened the 1,300-square-foot store at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. This season, the store expanded to 6,000 square feet by filling out an empty spot next door. With that space, the rental shop tripled its amount of gear.
"I've always loved having a lot of options," he said. "Learning from what I always wanted going to ski shops, I was able to adapt that into my ski shop. It's really nice and being able to adapt to any ability level that walks in the shop."
The store, which is set to reopen on Oct. 21, will have 136 different ski models and 62 different snowboards. Instead of one "beginner ski," there are 13 to choose from. Plus, Knoll replaces each ski and snowboard with the new models every year, selling the old models to customers.
"I don't like offering a demo ski that's not the current year," he said. "I think it's kind of cheating the customer out."
While the variety could be overwhelming, Knoll said that he emphasizes proper knowledge and training for his employees, so they can find the perfect gear for each customer.
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They ask questions that range from, "Where do you like to ski?" to "Are you an aggressive person or more mellow?"
If the customer does not like any part of the rental after going down the slopes, they can ski up to the door to replace it.
The back of the store also has a tune shop that customers can use, equipped with an automatic service station Winterseiger Mercury Generation three, the only one in the United States, Knoll said. The store also features a laser boot scanner that produces a 3-D image of a person's foot, so customers can more easily find the perfect boot.
In the spot where the store used to be, Knoll installed 130 lockers, which include drying racks for boots and gloves, as well as some changing rooms. The idea, he said, came from customers themselves, who often told him how convenient it would be to leave their skis on the mountain throughout the season.
Knoll purchased the new space one year ago, and is excited to at last have the room to realize his dream of owning a large fleet of skis to meet the needs of his customers.
With the expansion, Jackson's Base Camp went from four employees to 15. The strong customer service is part of the reason they have been so successful, Knoll said. He tries to lead by example so that employees, and therefore customers, can stay happy and keep coming.
I adore coming to work every day," he said. "I adore helping people put boots on. I adore getting people the right ski and then talking to them about it when they walk back in the store at the end of the day….This is our passion."