Ted Eynon, owner of Meier Skis, takes a walk around the outside of his new South Broadway storefront. On the north wall, a Denver muralist is hard at work, painting what Eynon describes as a scene straight from the slopes: “You’re sitting mid-mountain with someone blasting out of the wall, hucking a cliff, coming out of the trees, powder spraying everywhere.”
Eynon is particularly excited about the outside deck he’s building adjacent to the mural.
“We want people to feel—even though they’re on South Broadway—to feel like they’re up in the mountains and they’re taking a break, having a beer in between runs at lunchtime and soaking up some rays,” he says. “[From the raised deck outside], you actually get views to snow-capped peaks, and so that rounds it out.”
Meier Skis, which has been making skis from Colorado’s aspen and beetle-kill pine trees since 2009, moved into its new location at 1775 South Broadway on August 29. Among the shop’s many new features is Eynon’s vision to become Denver’s first “craft skiery,” meaning customers can walk in, grab a beer, and watch Meier workers making skis behind the bar’s giant glass windows.
Plus, it’s quite the upgrade from its previous location in Lincoln Park in an industrial shared office space called Forge. It’s twice the size, for one, with 6,200 square feet. The new location was also the former home to a local skateboard manufacturer and skate shop, BoardLife, so it was already set up for a factory and retail space.
“I think Forge was good for visibility from I-25, but not really good to actually get off I-25 and find us,” Eynon says. “The city has put so much money and effort into South Broadway, with turn lanes, and they’ve improved parking and biking lanes and accessibility connecting green space, and they’re bringing so much high-density housing down here.”
Eynon plans to submit a liquor license in the next week to serve beer and wine behind Meier’s rustic bar. Although other outdoor companies have added booze to their brick-and-mortars—including Breckenridge’s Rocky Mountain Underground and the cooler brand Yeti—Eynon says Meier is one of the few brands actually making products onsite. But beyond that, he sees the bar as another way to connect with his customers.
“Our community likes to have fun. They like the outdoors, they like to ski, they like to have a beer, a glass of wine or a few of them,” he says. “In the end, the whole thing is about having fun, right? I mean, no one gets skis to go have a shitty time.”
Meier makes its skis from two presses in its back factory, where the business will also offer tours to customers. In the front of the building, Meier displays its 16 standard models of skis. The shop will also offer ski and snowboard tunes, and will sell ski soft goods, such as apparel, goggles, helmets, and other accessories. In addition, Meier has also struck a deal with Steamboat Springs-based Grass Sticks—maker of bamboo ski poles—where Meier assembles its custom bamboo ski poles in the shop, and brands them specifically as Meier.
Eynon, 56, grew up skiing in Franconia, New Hampshire. In 2008, he sold his mapping software company to General Electric, and after working for the massive corporate entity for four years, Eynon decided he wanted to pursue “something closer to home (he had a ski condo in Breckenridge) and to my heart.” He stumbled upon a news article about Matt Cudmore, who was making skis in his Glenwood Springs garage from Colorado aspen and beetle-kill pine. The two paired up and set up a factory, which eventually moved to Denver. Cudmore is still part owner of Meier, and involved with research and development.
Now, Eynon says Meier has sold skis in every state in the United States, and has grown by 50 percent each year for the last three years. In the next three years, Eynon plans to expand Meier craft skieries in other ski destinations across the country.
“We’re selling to individuals around the world,” he says. “It’s not like all our revenue just comes from the local community, but the local community is ultra-important to us.”
If you go: Meier Skis is located at 1775 S. Broadway. On October 24, the brand will host a special Ikon Pass event, where guests will have the chance to purchase an Ikon ski pass.