If you were part of the stylish crew that attended 303 Magazine‘s Denver Fashion Weekend last month, you got a print copy of our official mountain town guide to all of the hottest places. But what you didn’t get is the lowdown on five exceptional locally-owned ski shops in Steamboat, Aspen, Vail and Breckenridge.

Here is the exclusive additional list of must-stop shops that will get you what you need for new rentals, fresh gear and a whole lot of awesomeness this season.


What: Fleischer Sport

Where: 2250 Apres Ski Way, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 / 970-870-0900

WHY 303 LOVES IT: It’s committed to a fashion-forward world-class experience.

Photo by Chad Fleischer

Photo by Chad Fleischer

This premier ski/snowboard shop is a blend of rentals, demos and boutique merchandise. Committed to providing the best and freshest products from around the globe, it carries hand-picked exclusive lines from Europe, Germany and Austria. You will find high-caliber brands like KRU, Bogner, Authier and SOS. It provides free overnight storage for boots and skis, custom boot drying, and $5 lockers for personal equipment. Test run a pair of Austria’s finest made KASTLE skis or buy your long awaited Bogner indigo helmet with inlaid bamboo. You’ll be sure to find something you’ve never seen before and be able to show it off on the slopes.

Unique Perk: Kids (10 & under) always rent free including blackout dates (given that the parents purchase their rental there)

What President & Founder (former US Ski Team Olympian) Chad Fleischer has to to say…

Photo by Chad Fleischer

Photo by Chad Fleischer

303: Shopping advice?

CF: Try it before you buy it. Don’t get caught up in buying skis or soft goods on the internet when you have the opportunity to go into stores where you can touch it, feel it, put it on and talk about it. You can actually demo it first so when you make that purchase, you know you’re making a great investment.

303: Fashion tips?

CF: If you ski every day, all day long, in the exact same outfit for 106 days, think about what you’re doing. Would you wear the exact same blue jeans and t-shirt for 106 days? Mix it up and get creative. Have a few jackets, and have a few pants.  Go loud with the pants and go subtle with the jacket.

It’s okay to bring attention to yourself – you’re having the time of your life.

303: Most excited about this season?

CF: The World Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek this year. It’s exciting to know that Vail and Beaver Creek will be showcasing skiing in Colorado to the rest of the planet.

See what’s happening in Colorado THIS WEEK.


What: Ski Shop Ajax

Where: 555 E. Durant Ave. #1f, Aspen CO 81611 / 970-429-0101

WHY 303 LOVES IT: It claims to have the most fun on the mountain.

Photo Courtesy of Ski Shop Ajax facebook

Photo Courtesy of Ski Shop Ajax facebook

This boutique ski-chic shop is just steps below the gondola on Dean Street Walkway, in the North of Nell Building at the base of Ajax Mountain. Stop by for good vibes and epic times with its expert staff who provide a high level of personalized service. It offers tune-ups, custom boot fittings/alignments and any needed repairs (parts permitting). Its rental and demo fleet is 100% brand new each year so you can have optimum performance every day (because it’s open every day including ALL holidays). If you rent here, there is a discounted luxury locker rental (fits equipment for 2) that includes two power outlets, posts to hang skis and clothing, a drip pan and boot/glove dryers. So save 20% off by making your rental reservation online and experience the luxury that is the locker lounge with complimentary coffee, tea and cocoa, soda and spirits. Ski Shop Ajax is all about the fun, so watch TV and have a drink when you need a break.

Unique Perk: Each rental comes with a complimentary Aspen Brewery beer.

What Ski Shop Ajax has to say…

Photo courtesy of Ski Shop Ajax facebook

Photo courtesy of Ski Shop Ajax facebook

303: Fashion tips?

SSA: Get the right gear, cozy up and have fun.

303: Ski or board pointers?

SSA: Get your boots fit properly. It will not only enhance your performance on the mountain, but it will drastically increase your fun out there. We specialize in designing custom footbeds to fit your specific needs.

We’re only happy when you’re comfortable and happy.

303: Shopping advice?

SSA: You can come to the ski shop to try before you buy. Or just come and take some turns on the latest and greatest skis that the whole town’s talking about.

See winter braids styling advice for your new beanie.


What: American Ski Exchange

Where: 225 Wall St., Vail, CO 81657 / 970-476-1477

WHY 303 LOVES IT:  It will beat any price in the village by an additional 10% for comparable gear. Just show ’em proof. 

Vail American Ski Exchange

Photo by Jackson Higgins

Located in the center of Vail Village steps below Gondola One, this locally-owned business is operated by the Higgins family, who has been renting jackets, pants, helmets, skis and board equipment since 1986. What makes American Ski Exchange different than other ski shops is the unique variety of goods hand-selected by each of the family members. They select what to carry from brands like Salomon, K2, Atomic, Hart and Burton, down to the comedic tees of French fries skiing French fry. This shop offers all the necessary tune-ups, adjustments and last-minute fixes as well as a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Make your rental reservation online or by phone the day before so your gear will be ready for you. If you’re coming in the morning, come in before 10:00 a.m. to avoid rush hour. But if you rent the night before, you can store your skis free overnight. Remember, the more days you rent, the cheaper your rental rate will be.

Unique Perk: It has a ski delivery and pick-up service if you’re pressed for time.

What Jackson Higgins has to say…

303: Shopping advice?

Turkey Trip 1258

Photo by Jackson Higgins

JH: If you shop at a smaller ski shop, you’ll normally get better stuff. Brands have unique styles that they don’t sell to the big box retailers, and that is mostly true with all smaller ski shops. We’ll get a certain helmet for example and Sports Authority might get a similar looking helmet, or you’ll see a similar one online, but it’s not exactly the same.

303: Brands you’re excited about?

JH: Picture organic clothing, jackets, leggings, hats and accessories. The cool thing about Picture is that all their products are made out of either recycled or organic material and it transports its goods with the lowest carbon footprint possible. Mountain Hardwear is another one great for more rugged, back-country skiing and Colombia is always a great clothing company.

303: Fashion tips?

JH: You can get away wearing stuff on the mountain that wouldn’t fly elsewhere, so have fun with your his or snowboard outfit. Buy your clothes from some of the smaller brands. No one wants to run into someone wearing the same jacket. Helmets are always fashionable, and a little day glow doesn’t hurt.

See what to wear THIS holiday.


What: Carvers Ski Board & Sport

Where: 203 N. Main St., Breckenridge, CO 80424 / 970-453-0132

WHY 303 LOVES ITIts goal is to help you have a successful day on the mountain. 


Photo courtesy of Carvers Ski Board shop

Conveniently located in the center of town, just five minutes walking distance from the gondola, this family-owned place since 1995 has the friendliest staff well-versed in both ski and snowboard products. With style and function progressing every year, it’s important to talk to people who are knowledgeable about what goods to use and what styles to choose. In addition to servicing your equipment with a full tune, quick tune, or a sharpen and wax, you’ll find Carvers to be approachable, informative and affordable. Rent or buy hard goods here from brands like Rossignol, Burton, Vokl and Bonfire. If you and the family lose a glove or need a last-minute extra pair of snow pants, it has you covered. Its goal is to make your day a success on the mountain and get the most enjoyment out of skiing and riding that there’s to offer – whatever your age or skill level.

Unique Perk: The cost of rental equipment decreases the more days you rent.

What owner Thad Eldredge has to say…


Photo by Thad Eldredge

303: Favorite brand to carry?

TE: We have had a lot of great feedback on Faction skis. Juniors, women and men all really like the product.  Many of the staff ski this brand and that is always a good litmus.

303: Coolest part of the store?

TE: I like the soft goods and goggle area. Goggle tech progresses every year and it’s the best I’ve ever seen. Many goggles we sell are sold with multiple lenses and have very easy-to-change lens technologies, which is definitely a quick way to switch up your mountain look.

303: Fashion tips?  

TE: Don’t match.  Just kidding. I tend to go pretty conservative in my outerwear, and add some pop in my accessories (goggle, gloves). That said, Breck is pretty progressive, and you see some crazy stuff on the hill.

Get 303’s SKI CHIC look.

What: Fun Vs. Awesome

Where: 222 S. Main St., Lower Level Breckenridge, CO 80424 / 970-439-6841

WHY 303 LOVES IT: You can expect a lot of high-fives. 


Photo Courtesy of Fun Vs Awesome

It’s not technically a ski shop because you won’t find ski or board rentals here, but it’s most definitely a must-stop shop. With a mix of street clothing and outdoor wear for your mountain town adventures, you’ll find brands like Holden, Neff, Picture Organic, INI Cooperative and a whole new fleet of snow skates – a new feature to the store this season. The selection of regular and powder snowskates are definitely worth a try if you are looking for the next challenge. Ask for a demo and maybe learn some new tricks.

Unique Perk: If you go there, you are awesome.

What Fun vs Awesome owners Rianna & Matt Royer has to say…

303: Favorite brand?

Photo by Rianna Royer

Photo by Rianna Royer

RR: Holden is one of my all time favorite brands. Neff is another one that we carry a lot.

303: Why try snowskates?

MR: If you’re new to snowboarding it can be better place to start. On snowskates you’re not attached so you’re less committed to the hard falls that you’d get when you’re in your bindings. It’s like learning to snowboard all over again, but you’re learning new tricks. It’s different and challenging, but I love it.

303: Most excited about this season?

RR: Definitely snowskates and the rad new outerwear that we have. We have our biggest selection ever and I think the best selection in Breckenridge.

Mountain to street – we can’t be beat.

See other cool ski & board brands highlighted from Denver’s 2014 Expo.

Be sure to check out these MUST-STOP ski shops on your way up to the mountains. Whether it be in Steamboat, Aspen, Vail or Breckenridge, all five of them will be sure to show you some Colorado hospitality from complimentary beer to excellent gear.