Equipment-rental software firm gets Scottish contract
A software development firm that got its start in the bedroom of a Stateline home three years ago took its first steps into international markets last week.
Ski Rental Systems of Zephyr Cove signed its first international contract with Alpine Ski Hire, a company headquartered in Scotland.
Owners said they expect it won’t be the company’s last international deal.
“We’re constantly looking for new markets,” said Stuart Maas, vice president and co-owner of Ski Rental Systems.
Alpine Ski Hire now will use the interface developed by Ski Rental Systems to reserve recreational equipment for the rental needs of online shoppers, he said.
Despite its name, the company’s service is used by outdoors suppliers to handle the rental of a wide range of gear — everything from mountain bikes to boats to ATVs. Bear Lake Fun of Garden City, Utah, uses the Ski Rental Systems interface to handle rentals of cabins.
The partnership with the Scottish firm comes on the heels of a major contract signed this summer by Ski with Monarch Mountain, a Colorado ski resort.
All told, Ski Rental Systems has about 50 clients — including 14 ski shops in the Lake Tahoe area. Other clients can be found in Florida, Idaho, Utah, Montana and New Mexico.
“With the amount of clients rolling in, the growth is exciting,” said Todd Doherty, director of support at Ski Rental Systems.
In 2010, Maas helped launch the business with co-owners Kevin Sammelman and Phil Monahan. The trio worked out of Monahan’s home off Kingsbury Grade — they were the only employees of Ski Rental Systems — but stayed focused on the company’s potential.
The company now has 10 employees.
Monahan said the business’s success stems from a reliable product and the employees’ willingness to listen to customers.
“We listen to our clients,” he said, “and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the client input.”
With the winter season on its way, Ski Rental Systems has been busy preparing for a surge in rental reservations, Monahan said. It has also been introducing a new business model in which the company gets a percentage of rental purchases on partnering websites.
“It makes it more affordable for the clients and gives us a much more sustainable business model moving forward,” Monahan said.
“(Companies) have already made their money back three- or four-fold.” Monahan said, “And they haven’t even started the season yet,”
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