DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver startup has a rather unusual goal: to find old chairs from ski lifts that have been retired and turn them into attractive home furniture.
With many ski resorts upgrading to sleek, shiny high-speed chairlifts in recent years, the old, slower chairlifts with the basic metal chairs have been coming down. Last spring, Eldora Mountain Resort sold the chairs from one of their old lifts for $350 each, and they went quickly.
But some of those buyers probably found that the chairs weren’t so easy to hang up in their porches. And some of those chairs were probably falling apart a bit.
Enter Jacques Boiteau. Co-founder of the small startup company Ski Lift Designs, Boiteau is professionally reconditioning chairs from old chairlifts and doing custom installations for customers.
Boiteau told Business Den the “no one has really taken them to the level that does these chairs justice.”
“It’s an interesting process because no chair is the same … You hang it up and it’s not centered and not right,” he said.
Ski Lift Designs, which was formed last year, spends a good amount of effort trying to track down old chairlift chairs. Boiteau said his team has collected hundreds from across North America.
After they obtain a chair they usually have them professionally stripped, specially painted and they work with a buyer (price tag = between $1,000 and $2,500) to determine how they’d like them featured in a home. Business Den says the company can hang the chairs from the ceiling, turn them into benches with legs or place them in a yard so they’ll pivot.
The company is a side project so far for those involved. They’re hoping to get some of their employees to full-time status soon.