SSI Venture, the retail arm of Broomfield-based Vail Resorts, has informed the state that it plans to close 19 equipment rental and retail locations in Aspen, Telluride and Snowmass Village, permanently eliminating 69 jobs.
The closures, which will happen once the ski season ends, are tied to the company’s decision to not renew store leases for another season, SSI Venture informed the Colorado Department of Labor in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter dated Feb. 27.
“As our leases in the Aspen area came up for renewal at the end of the 2022/2023 winter season, we needed to make a long-term decision regarding the future strategy of our retail operations in the Aspen market. At that time, we decided to close down our retail operations in this market in order to focus company resources on (serving) our core retail markets,” said Glenn Stahlman, vice president and chief operating officer at Vail Resorts.
Similar letters were filed for the Telluride and Snowmass Village locations. Stahlman said the closures are permanent and that employees were informed of about them in November and that Vail Resorts was “proactively working with each employee to support them through the transition.”
Specialty Sports Venture, which became SSI Venture, got its start in 1994 when the Gart family acquired Telluride Sports, Colorado Ski & Golf, and Grand West Outfitters. In 1998, SSV merged with the retail and rental operations of Vail Resorts. In 2010, per the terms of the initial agreement, Vail Resorts paid $31 million to buy out the 30% share held by Ken and Tom Gart and gain full control of the company, which had more than 145 retail and rental locations at the time.
Closures for Aspen Sports include the retail stores at the Hyatt and St. Regis in Aspen, the Snowmass Mall and Viewline in Snowmass, and the Aspen Sports Demo, Aspen Sports Tune, Aspen Sports Valet stores in Snowmass.
Telluride Sports locations closing are located at Camel’s Garden, Cimarron Lodge, Franz Klammer, Gondola Plaza, Main Street and The Peaks. Telluride Sports has been operating since 1972, and the closures will darken a large share of Telluride’s sports equipment rental facilities.
Branded retail locations closing include stores for Burton, Neve Sports, Patagonia and The North Face Telluride, as well as stores for Patagonia and The North Face in Snowmass.
“Vail Resorts Retail has made the decision to close all of its retail and rental locations in Telluride and Aspen in order to focus on other strategic priorities. We are grateful to our employees and partners in both markets — and are working with impacted team members to find new employment opportunities within the Vail Resorts network following this season,” said Laura Bonfiglio, a spokesperson for Vail Resorts, in an email.
Vail Resorts doesn’t own or operate resorts in Aspen, Telluride or Snowmass. But the Telluride Ski Resort, which is privately owned, is included as an offering in the company’s Epic Pass.
By: ALDO SVALDI I Denver Post I March 2023