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Photo by Matthew Stacey

This Start-Up Is Making Life Easier for First-Time Skiers

Slope Threads mails "soft" rental gear, like jackets and snow pants, right to your door.

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The barrier to entry for skiing is nearly as high as the mountains themselves: On top of lift tickets and ski rentals, newbies often have to outlay hundreds on the “soft” stuff, such as jackets, snow pants, and gloves. Now, though, a new Denver company offers a middle ground between financial destitution and skiing in soggy denim. Slope Threads rents a full kit of skiwear—jacket, pants, goggles, and gloves, all from Obermeyer—for $35 per day. (Adding a helmet bumps the price to $40; customers can also buy nonreturnable items like socks and base layers.) Founder Sarah Laughlin, an MBA student at the University of Denver, dreamed up the concept after her out-of-town friends mailed their winter duds to her house before embarking on a ski trip. Following suit, Slope Threads sends its setups directly to customers’ hotels, reducing the load vacationers must stuff into their luggage. Laughlin and co-founder Nicole Wodke cater to nontourists too, positioning their rent-as-you-grow model as a good fit for kids. This month, Slope Threads will outfit children from Environmental Learning for Kids, a Denver nonprofit that organizes outdoor adventures for underserved youth. The charitable gig will be good preparation for March and April, as the company says it’s already inundated with orders from spring breakers looking to save as they shred.

Winter in Colorado

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