By Mira Brody EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – What began as a brief, “ski bum stint” trip to Big Sky turned into a fulltime career for Wyatt Dodd, Ski Butlers’ general manager. The east coast native came out to escape the city and pandemic, and instead has landed—like many who arrive here—in his new home. Ski Butlers, founded by CEO and Owner, Bryn Carey in 2004, is considered the travel agents of skiing, providing delivery, pickup and support for everything you need to enjoy a ski trip far from your own home.
Today, Ski Butlers is composed of five Ski Technicians and two Team Leaders who help pack orders, fulfill equipment swap requests, pick up equipment, tune skis and much more. They take the guesswork and complicated logistics out of a ski trip so you can have time to do just that—ski Lone Mountain. Explore Big sky spoke with Dodd about his own journey to the area and what makes him love going to work every day.
The following answers have been edited for brevity.
Explore Big Sky: I’d like to start with a little background information on you, when did you come to Big Sky?
Wyatt Dodd: My first trek out to Big Sky happened in early November of last year. My in-person collegiate career at Franklin and Marshall College of Lancaster, Pennsylvania had ended in March due to the pandemic and next thing I knew, I was graduating from my computer in May. Over that summer, my close friend, and now team leader at our shop, Matt Burnham, notified me that he was moving out to Bozeman for a ski-filled winter and was in need of a friend/roommate to make the move with. That first drive out to Big Sky was eye opening for me. Coming from the East, specifically a small town called Stonington in the Southeast corner of Connecticut along the Rhode Island border, the drive to the mountain was usually the hardest part of the ski day. The restless anticipation, the crawling minutes as you eagerly awaited fresh tracks … but this time the drive was a welcome part of the experience. The rushing current of the icy blue Gallatin, the snow dusted pines, and of course the breathtaking first view of Lone Peak as we made our way up Gallatin Gateway. “That’s Big Sky?” I asked, shocked that a skiable mountain could look like that.
I later found out about Ski Butlers through my brother who had worked in the Park City location a couple years prior, and was put into contact with our Director of Operations, Maura Grady … [and] I was brought on as a Ski Technician in January. What was supposed to be a brief, ski bum stint, has now resulted in a year plus in Montana and myself at the head of Ski Butlers Big Sky.
EBS: Tell me about the history of Ski Butlers when did it start? How/when did you become involved? How has it grown over the years?
W.D.: Ski Butlers was an idea thought up by our CEO and Owner, Bryn Carey, in his dorm room at the University of New Hampshire. Later, he upgraded his think space from a dorm room to a garage, and in 2004, Ski Butlers was officially founded. Eighteen years later, we are proud to represent 19 locations, serving 50 different resorts in North America and Europe. Customer service has been the lifeblood of the business; it’s allowed Ski Butlers to see continual growth each year in business and has been what separates us from the competition.
“From the top down, Ski Butlers fosters a work environment where each and every employee is able to come together in the pursuit of a passion, that passion being skiing and the mountains.”
– Wyatt Dodd, Ski Butlers, General Manager
EBS: How big is your team?
W.D.: Our current team is composed of five Ski Technicians and two Team Leaders, with one more Ski Technician coming on in mid-January as of now.
EBS: Tell me about the different services offered at Ski Butlers?
W.D.: We understand that ski vacations can be stressful to plan and execute, so we developed a process that makes the renting portion of the vacation seamless. There are essentially three components that comprise the Ski Butlers’ model: Delivery, Support and Pickup.
How the delivery portion works, is the customer books online either through our website, through a travel agent, by calling one of our reservation agents, or by calling us at our shop. We pack their selected equipment the day before the delivery is scheduled for. The renters are each brought their requested gear, as well as an extra pair of boots to ensure they are fitted into the correct size. The idea here is that customers are able to stay relaxed at their accommodations even through the ski rental fitting portion of their vacation, which is typically looked at as a stressful moment when planning a winter ski trip. If the customer needs anything throughout their stay, they can give us a call or shoot us a text and we will meet them wherever desired to tend to their needs. At the end of their last ski day, all renters have to do is leave the equipment outside their accommodations and we will come pick it up between 4-8 p.m. It’s that easy.
A fresh tune and waxing happens on every ski and snowboard after its use, ensuring the customers have nothing to worry about in this department.
EBS: What is the best part or your favorite memory of working there?
W.D.: My favorite part of working at Ski Butlers has got to be the culture. From the top down, Ski Butlers fosters a work environment where each and every employee is able to come together in the pursuit of a passion, that passion being skiing and the mountains. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know different Ski Butlers employees. From our CEO, Bryn Carey, to the different General Managers of other Ski Butlers locations, to my own employees this year, there really is a common theme among people who work at Ski Butlers and it makes working here a blast. Everyone is encouraged to get out there and experience the mountains and it’s so cool to have that work/life balance and support expressed all the way from the top. It’s something that you certainly don’t find in every company.
EBS: What is the best business advice you have ever received?
W.D.: The best business advice I have ever received is probably from my dad. Growing up, I, like most children, was, let’s say, “strongly encouraged” to help with chores around the house … my dad would always tell me, “Remember, all one big job is, is a bunch of little jobs.”
EBS: Anything else you would like to add?
W.D.: Overall, Ski Butlers is an exciting, curious, purposeful and constantly evolving company. It really feels, as an individual location, as though we are one piece of a greater whole. It makes working here really special and I am incredibly excited to see what new developments and expansions will come into play for future years. It certainly is an exciting time to be a Ski Butler!