In tune with the Summit County community
Ask most customers at Precision Ski & Golf how they found themselves there, and most will tell you that they heard about it from somebody else. As with anything, news spreads quickly by word of mouth, and the word about Precision Ski & Golf seems to be the same everywhere – go there.Precision Ski & Golf has operated for more than 30 years in Summit County. At its helm is longtime local Jim Deines, known to friends as “Jimbo.” Deines runs his shop with an easy demeanor and a quick smile. Skiing is his life and livelihood and he really couldn’t be happier about it.”I like it, I like the work,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to create a business that allows you to live a certain lifestyle.”Originally from Fort Collins, Deines came to Summit County in 1977 and has been here ever since. After working in the ski industry for a couple years, including a ski shop in Aspen and a rental shop in Summit County, Deines started his very own tune-up shop in 1981.Over the years, Deines has expanded and improved his business. The back of his shop is filled with expensive machinery, including one “robot” worth more than $200,000 that can fix up a pair of skis in just a handful of minutes. Deines said that he likes to combine high-tech equipment with high level of experience in his employees.”Any job’s easy if you’ve got the right tool, and any tool is only as good as the nut on the handle,” he said, then added with a laugh, “My goal is to have good tools and good nuts on the handle.”Each of Deines’ employees comes from a skiing background, having spent years in the various aspects of the industry, including skiing, racing and coaching. Turnover is not a common event at Precision; its newest employee has been working there for four years and others have been involved for 10 years or more. “It’s the best job in the world,” said Paul Bell, who has worked there for 15 years. “It doesn’t feel like a job.”This is the way Deines likes it, he said, because he has a lot of expertise nearby to rely on if need be.”We don’t specialize in the three-minute boot fit,” he said, as an example of how Precision is different than other, less-customized stores. His goal, he said, is for “that boot to put a smile on our face.””If your feet aren’t happy, you’re not happy,” he added.Throughout the years, Deines has picked up an incredible amount of knowledge about skiing, from the equipment to the sport itself and everything in between. In conversation with customers, he can listen to a problem and suggest at least four or five solutions, then just as easily turn around and recite a list of ski brand names and their company connections and history.”You’re just a wealth of information,” exclaimed Brian Wray, a repeat customer, as Deines spoke about a recent ski show he’d attended.”This is the man,” he said, pointing at Deines. “He’s the one to deal with.”Some things have changed since the beginning, Deines said, while others haven’t. “The core is the same, our commitment to ski tuning. The equipment has changed dramatically,” he said. It requires adaptation, but he’s ready and willing to keep abreast with the industry and role with the changes.The most difficult aspect of the job is facing the customers’ frustration when they come in with damaged equipment, Deines said. He and his employees deal with it by using a humorous approach, doing their best to convince them, “It’s not life or death.”Deines has much more to say about the best part of his job, which is, essentially, everything.”We all share the spirit of doing good work,” he said. “To take a ski out of any of these machines, to be proud of the work you’ve had a hand in, that’s awesome. If you don’t love your job, I feel sorry for that person. I love mine.”
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