Ski Lift Designs, a company based right here in Denver, takes old ski chairlifts and gives them a second life in the form of really cool furniture!
If you've ever gone skiing or snowboarding, then you know that the ski chairlifts are memory-makers. Whether you're talking with your buddies or a complete stranger on the ride up, it's all part of the experience. In fact, I'd argue that riding on the chairlift is just as much fun, if not more, as skiing itself. And that sense of fun and adventure is exactly what Ski Lift Designs is trying to capture!
Created by Jacque Boiteau, Matt Evans, and McCall Perry in 2017, the idea sparked from wanting some cool furniture in their yard and house. But they quickly realized that nobody else was doing this kind of thing, or at least doing it well. And because refurbishing ski chairlifts required more labor than originally expected, including woodworking and fabrication, they could only create a few chairs a month.
While their business has become rather steady, they're still working in their day jobs. "This is definitely our passion project," Perry told The Gazette.
"We're getting to a point where the business is proven, and I would say it's comfortable demand right now. We're planning to keep growing," Boiteau said.
And they have grown, right here in our backyard, with some expansion happening on a national level. The trio was has been asked to create chairs for a restaurant, some art galleries, and even an installation at the Super Bowl earlier this year! Target had built a lodge-style store and asked Ski Lift Designs for four triple chairs to hang from the ceiling. And they're currently in talks with a hotel chain in Colorado to install some custom pieces in the lobby.
A majority of the chairs are from old lift manufacturers like Hall Ski-Lift Co. (New York) and Heron-Poma (Colorado), and they'll journey out and bring their finds back to Denver. If there's years of rust or layers of old, aged paint, they'll sandblast it down to the original steel before making any necessary modifications. It's then covered in a sealing powder and baked at 750 degrees.
Now, unfortunately, they don't have the ability or man power to install the lifts themselves, which is why they highly suggest that if you purchase one of their products, you should have a licensed contractor do the installation. The lifts weights about 150 pounds and can hold roughly 600 pounds.
Perry said, "We're trying to brand them as interactive art. This is more than a piece of furniture. It really is art, but you can sit on it, it's functional. Individually, the chairs have history. They're a conversation piece."
If you're interested in getting a chairlift of your own, please note that it takes about four to six weeks (start to delivery) to create a custom-built product.
Prices range from $1,500 to $3,000, depending on whether you order a standard bench or custom seat chair. Check out all of Ski Lift Designs' products on its website.
What do you think? Are you interested in sprucing up your home with one of these bad boys? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.