Business expands to international market |

Business expands to international market

Griffin Rogers
Stuart Maas, left, Kevin Sammelman, middle, and Phil Monahan work on their computers at Ski Rental Systems' Zephyr Cove headquarters Tuesday. The three South Shore residents started the company in 2010 and recently reached an international market.
Griffin Rogers / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

From developing software in a Stateline bedroom to partnering with companies around the globe, there’s no doubt Ski Rental Systems has grown exponentially in the past four years.

On Monday, the South Lake Tahoe-based business signed its first international contract with Alpine Ski Hire, a company headquartered in Scotland.

Owners said they expect it won’t be the last.

“We’re constantly looking for new markets,” said Stuart Maas, vice president and co-owner of Ski Rental Systems.

Alpine Ski Hire will now be able to reserve recreational equipment for the rental needs of online shoppers, using Ski Rental Systems’ safe and easy-to-use interface, he said.

The sign of growth was only the most recent. This summer, Ski Rental Systems expanded further by partnering with Monarch Mountain, a major ski resort in Colorado.

Again, the idea is to bridge the technology gap for consumers and businesses and make it easier to reserve rentals online, said Todd Doherty, director of support at Ski Rental Systems.

“With the amount of clients rolling in,” he said, “the growth is exciting.”

In 2010, Maas helped launch the business with co-owners Kevin Sammelman and Phil Monahan. The trio worked out of Monahan’s home off Kingsbury Grade — the only employees of Ski Rental Systems — but never lost sight of the company’s potential, they said.

Now, almost four years later, the company has 10 employees and serves about 14 ski stores around Lake Tahoe. Other clients can be found in Florida, Idaho, Utah, Montana and New Mexico.

Monahan said the business’s success stems from a reliable product and the employees’ willingness to listen to customers.

“We listen to our clients,” he said, “and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the client input.”

With the winter season on its way, Ski Rental Systems has been busy preparing for a surge in rental reservations, Monahan said. It has also been utilizing a new business model in which the company gets a percentage of rental purchases on partnering websites.

“It makes it more affordable for the (clients) and gives us a much more sustainable business model moving forward,” Monahan said.

Thousands of people have already begun reserving their winter equipment on the company’s various systems, he said.

“(Companies) have already made their money back three or four fold,” Monahan said, referring to the number of rental reservations, “and they haven’t even started the season yet,”

Maas and Monahan said a lot more news can be expected from Ski Rental Systems as the company continues to grow.

The owners are currently trying to line up more international clients, as well as focus on the national rental market.

“We’ve nowhere near exhausted our national clients,” he said. “We’ve only scratched the surface.”

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