Making a reservation online has become the standard. Whether you are booking dinner plans on Opentable or a vacation rental on Airbnb, we’ve become accustomed to having it all at our fingertips. But what happens when you need outdoor gear for that impromptu camping trip or that last-minute weekend on the slopes or spontaneous drop-in from out-of-town friends? Often, too much time is spent frantically searching Google looking at a long list of retailers to compare only to end up making rash decisions, such as buying pricey snowshoes and tents wherever it’s available. Fortunately, there’s Gearo, the Denver-based outdoor gear rental platform, bridging the gap between retailer and renter.
Gearo is a simple booking platform that allows you to compare a variety of inventory from retailers in Denver. A wide network of retailers are located in Sloan’s Lake, Stapleton, Littleton, Golden, LoDo and RiNo. All of which offer gear from biking, skiing, camping and paddleboarding.
With multiple areas participating, Gearo was better able to successfully meet any style of outdoor interest. And what once began in Denver, soon expanded to other states nationwide. CEO and Co-founder Justine Barone explains, “Now we have retailers in over 12 cities throughout Colorado. We also have retailers in California, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Maine and more. In the last 18 months, we have gone from three retailers to over 100.”
At Gearo, renter’s can create a login profile to save personal shoe sizes and simplify the rental process. Here you can compare, check stock, order, and pick up your gear at the shop. This removes not only the guess-work but also the obligation to buy gear that you may only need temporarily in addition to supporting local retailers. Justine further elaborated, “I want to make sure we are always building the business with integrity. For me, that looks like standing by our mission and always making decisions that will positively impact our retailers. Everything we do is to help them grow and our goal is to create a mutually beneficial community where Gearo can thrive as a result of that growth.”
It all came into existence when Justine and Andrew googled paddleboard rental in Denver and spent exhaustive efforts to call each retailer. Comparing prices and availability wasn’t a quick task. By the time they were done, they didn’t even want to do it anymore and this wasn’t the first time they needed gear. They realized that in this day and age, this process was harder than it needed to be. There’s plenty of retailers with the right products and plenty of people who need to use them. This was the opportunity to build a one-stop website, that will help retailers and adventurists. Turns out there was an even greater opportunity here, to support the local mom and pop shops of Colorado. Having worked with local stores for some time, Justine said, “The number one issue we hear from retailers is that ‘they don’t have enough time.’ It essentially comes down to bandwidth constraint and as a result, there is no time to focus on internal processes or marketing strategies. As we partner with retailers, we help streamline rental operations that were typically manual before and optimize marketing opportunities, that were previously neglected.”
Clearly, there was an immense need for a website that helps both businesses and adventurers. Results come when the store gets a little help with creating local buzz while renters get a chance to try out the products. As they continue to grow, they are looking ahead to the convention circuit. Catch them at the November Grassroots Connect Show in Denver and the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show in Denver.
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