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Rent The Runway, For Ski Gear

For when you don’t want to haul or buy ski gear on your next trip.

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Back in 2012, Julian Flores’ wife rented a designer dress from the website Rent the Runway, a fashion company that allows customers to rent designer dresses for a few days at a fraction of what they cost at retail. Flores was just blown away at how easy the process was for her. “She was sent the garment through the mail and used it for a huge party and looked like a million bucks,” he said.

At the time, Flores was looking for a solution for some pain points in his life. The couple had been living in Colorado for eight years and had never really taken advantage of the incredible natural outdoor resources in the state. The cost of owning, storing, and traveling with gear was holding him back.

That rented dress made something click in his brain. Flores began exploring the idea of renting ski clothing to people all over the country, and in April of 2013 he launched, an online rental company for ski wear.

Here’s how it works:

The website allows you to rent everything you need for a ski trip either by picking a head-to-toe clothing and accessories package and working with a styling crew to get the right fit, or by picking out the individual pieces you like most.

You give the company the dates of your ski trip, and representatives put everything together and ship it to directly to your resort or ski destination via FedEx so it’s waiting when you arrive.

Yeah, that’s right. You don’t have to pack all of that ski gear. That means you don’t have to check all of that ski gear, which means you can probably get away with taking just a carry-on on the plane, which is worth its weight in gold.

When you’re done, simply throw the gear in the prepaid mailer bag included in the original box and leave it at the front desk of your hotel to be picked up by the postal service. The cost is about $30 a day for a complete package, including free shipping both ways.

The company also offers clothing for kids and teenagers as well, which is a huge value proposition for parents whose kids keep outgrowing stuff every year.

This year GetOutfitted added a new feature. Customers can now book their rental skis and snowboards through the site and have those delivered directly to their hotels by local partners. “We have customers from all over the world and partnerships with travel agents, concierge staffs, hotels, and local shops who refer customers to us,” Flores said.  “Many of our American customers come from Texas, Florida, New York, Tennessee, and Louisiana — places it doesn’t make sense to own ski gear because of the climate or because of space limitations.”

The company is picking up steam with new customers from Brazil, Mexico, the U.K., and Australia, who have to travel long distances when they visit the United States and plan skiing as just part of the trip. The company does half of its shipping to destinations in Colorado and Utah. But, it has also sends a lot of volume to smaller places in Vermont, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Michigan.

The company plans to expand soon into other kinds of outdoor gear for various adventure sports. 

Sure, this is an added cost to add to a ski trip, but for the infrequent skier, it makes a lot more sense than shelling out thousands for clothing and equipment.

—This article first appeared on Yahoo Travel

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From Blah to Badass — My Year of Magical Skiing