Ski Shop – Best of Vail Valley 2020 |

Ski Shop – Best of Vail Valley 2020

Best Ski Shop

1. Buzz’s

2. Transition Sports

3. Venture Sports

Buzz Schleper has been in the business of Vail Valley fun since the early 1980s. Vail Daily readers seem to appreciate that, and have voted Buzz’s Boards’ bike, ski and snowboard divisions tops in all three of those categories.

Buzz’s has long been known for its ski and snowboard gear sales and rentals. The shop has also expanded its inventory and services with the times. The bike shop is relatively new – having opened in 2017 — but the ski and snowboard shops are mainstays on Vail’s Bridge Street.

Schleper said it’s easy to explain the shops’ popularity: service.

“It’s how we respect our clientele,” Schleper said. “We give everybody a fair shake. We’re not out to gouge anybody.

The bike shop is run by Neil Conroy, a longtime Buzz’s Boards employees.

“(Conroy) knows how I like my shop run, and he runs the bike shop the same way,” Schleper said. “We’re not going to lose business over something that isn’t right for a client.”

And while everyone at Buzz’s uses the gear they sell and rent, Schleper said the shop is far from an experts-only affair.

“We want people to be comfortable coming in,” Schleper said. “We don’t want to look down on anybody — we want you to love the sport.”

That includes both skis and snowboards. Locals seem more inclined to ride, he said, while visitors tend to prefer skis, he said. All those users can find the most up-to-date gear at Buzz’s. That means staying abreast of trends.

Staying on top of those trends can be tricky in any business. Schleper said it isn’t a problem at Buzz’s.

“My employees, my family, me, we’re all active skiers and snowboarders,” he said. Even with Vail Mountain’s early shutdown in 2020, the Schleper, 69, still got 110 days on the mountain in the 2019-2020 season.

“I’ll go up for an hour or two,” he said. That’s true for most of the staff, he said.

With that kind of product testing, “It’s pretty easy to stay on top when you’re doing it every day,” he said.

-Scott Miller

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