Hometown business owner hoping to gain an edge with ski-tuning shop Edgewerks
December 8, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As a former Alpine ski racer, Ryan Duke understands the importance of having an edge when stepping into the starting gate.
Those days on the giant slalom course are behind him now, but he is combining his experience between the gates with the latest ski-tuning technology as part of his business, Edgewerks.
"We are at the base of the Grand, right next to the (Bridgestone) Winter Driving School," Duke said. "We are loving it."
But while his business's location at 2300 Mount Werner Circle is new, Duke has been tuning skis in Steamboat Springs for years.
"We were there for a good 13 years, and things were good," Duke said of Edgeworks’ old location in Gondola Square. "But then the ski resort did not renew our lease."
Duke was informed in spring 2017 that he would lose the lease, and Steamboat Resort later put a candy store in his former location.
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Despite his best efforts, Duke was unable to find a new spot last winter for his long-running business.
Duke put his ski-tuning machine and racks in storage and started exploring possibilities for a new location, but it would take more than a year before he was able to purchase the spot at the base of The Steamboat Grand.
Now he says he could not be happier.
He has more square footage at his new spot, and he feels like the location will be better for his customers. He recently purchased a new, state-of-the-art Challenge Max robot by Montana ski service systems that can handle all kinds of skis and snowboards. He also will continue to offer storage, including boot racks with boot driers, so his customers’ boots will be dry and warm when they hit the slopes.
The new space also will allow him to rent top-of-the-line Head skis for adults, juniors and children. He plans to dabble in retail with socks and long underwear by Point6 (owned by his parents, Peter and Patty Duke), Edgewerk T-shirts created by Ohana, gloves, Giro helmets and goggles. Duke is hoping to expand his retail offerings in the future and aims to be selling skis before the end of winter.
Tuning will start at $49 and go up, depending on the skier’s needs and the condition of the skis.
"Attention to detail and the way we maintain our machines," Duke said when asked what sets his business apart. "We spend money on maintaining our machine and updating pieces inside the machine where other companies may not. We really dial our equipment in to the everyday skiers and kind of conditions that Steamboat, Colorado, has."
Duke said his staff will work with customers to make sure their skis are ready to hit the slopes, providing a more enjoyable experience on the mountain.