Best Ski/Snowboard Shop: Pioneer Sports |

Best Ski/Snowboard Shop: Pioneer Sports

Pioneer Sports general manager Brent Ford, left, and floor supervisor Josh Gommel pose for a picture with some of the shop’s new skis from their 2019-20 season demo fleet during preseason preparation in October.
Antonio Olivero /

When Brett Ford joined the Pioneer Sports staff as general manager three years ago, the industry veteran was looking for a rewarding independent ski and board shop experience. He found that at Pioneer, where he feels the shop has a solid leg up not only on its corporate competition, but other independent shops, in terms of customer service and value at a price.

Yes, Pioneer has some of the cheapest ski and board rental prices in the county. But Ford said the shop prides itself on providing top-notch gear at those reasonable prices. While the shop doesn’t cycle in a new fleet of 100 rentals every year, Pioneer does recycle out its old gear regularly. For example, this winter, no ski or snowboard in the store will have been used longer than one season.

Then there’s how Pioneer services its fleet. Ford said he’s confident in saying no one else in the county services its equipment as well as Pioneer does. With a couple of tune guys in Dylan Garner and Jason Matalavage, who’ve been around for years, Pioneer tunes each of its rentals after every use by a customer.

“Experience speaks for itself,” Ford said. “I went to school for stuff in this industry, and they are still able to show me stuff.”

Throughout the rest of the shop, Ford said Pioneer brings a genuine approach to interacting with guests led by store manager Jeff Crandall. Though the shop doesn’t sell any hard goods, Pioneer also prides itself on its end-of-season sale of its demo equipment, shuffling out the past season’s fleet at discounted prices. The shop also sheds winter a bit earlier than other stores. As soon the calendar hits April, Pioneer throws all of its winter stuff under a tent out front marked down to a 40% discount.

“Which is almost more highly desired from the local than maybe the brand new equipment,” Ford said.

Pioneer Sports has locations at 842 N. Summit Blvd. in Frisco and 191 Blue River Parkway in Silverthorne.

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