When Denverites look west, they see a mountain panorama draped in white through much of the year. Not surprisingly, the area is populated by snowsports enthusiasts who love to ski and snowboard in those nearby mountains. These enthusiasts do not consider a winter storm to be bringing “bad” weather. In fact, they cheer the powder day. Locals’ garages and basements often hold a quiver of skis and snowboards, plus boots, poles, accessories and apparel. Fortunately, a number of outstanding retail shops specializing in winter sports gear keep skiers and riders outfitted at competitive prices.

Boulder Ski Deals (credit: Audie Streetman)

Boulder Ski Deals

2525 Arapahoe Ave.
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 938-8799

This large store in The Village shopping center is known for its extensive inventory of top brands and great prices on ski and snowboard equipment and clothing for adults and children. They offer performance and satisfaction guarantees on gear, including boot fitting. The Ski Deals’ trade-in program on kids’ equipment is exemplary. Parents can bring in outgrown equipment every season and trade it in for up to 50 percent savings on a new package. Once an independent ski retailer, Boulder Ski Deals is now part of Vail Resorts Inc.’s stable of sporting goods retailers with the buying power of a big chain, but it still exudes that local feel.

Eskimo Ski & Board Shop (credit: Young Kim)

Eskimo Ski & Board Shop

8265 S. Holly St.
Centennial, CO 80122
(303) 761-1101

Opened in 1939 by Frank Bulkley II, Eskimo Ski & Board Shop is thought to be the oldest specialty ski store in the country. Bulkley also created the Eskimo Ski Club to take children to the mountains and teach them how to ski. Youngsters rode the Ski Train to Winter Park for ski weekly lessons and fun. Though they now travel by bus, the Eskimo Club is still going strong. So is the shop, with top brands of clothing, apparel and accessories for adults as well as kids. You’ll find ski and snowboarding gear for sale, season lease or short-term rentals.

Larson’s Ski & Sport (credit: Young Kim)

Larson’s Ski & Sport

4715 Kipling St.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
(303) 423-0654

This service-savvy family-owned, family-run sports shop sells and rents ski and snowboard gear and clothing for adults and kids with season rentals that provide an excellent value. The store also stages a dynamite ski swap every fall. Because it is right off the Kipling exit on Interstate 70, Larson’s is a convenient stop en route to the mountains for that forgotten item. Larson’s is the rare ski shop that even rents ski jackets, ski pants and ski helmets by the day.

Outdoor Divas (credit: Lorne Eric Fultonberg)

Outdoor Divas

1133 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 449-DIVA (3482)

2717 E. Third Ave.
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 320-DIVA (3482)

Women snowriders are taken seriously at Outdoor Divas, whose two locations specialize in active sports equipment and apparel for the female crowd. In winter, Alpine, Nordic and backcountry skiing and snowboarding equipment and clothing are a major part of their focus. They carry women’s models of sport, performance and demo skis and boards, and their skill in fitting ski boots to women’s feet continues to garner raves.

— Mile High Cheapskates Claire Walter & Laura Daily keep Denver/Boulder residents informed about the latest deals, discounts and freebies at MileHighOnTheCheap.com