The Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo returned to Denver last weekend, showcasing a great line-up of local companies in the outdoor industry. From outstanding gear-makers to the best jerky, here are our top five favorite brands that we found at this year’s expo.

Meier Skis

Looking to revamp your ski style this winter? Meier skis are unique, hand-crafted skis made in Colorado from 100% natural wood products. Meier supports proper silvicultural practices in their design process. They only use trees that forest management services cut down or clear away in order to maintain a healthy forest. With outrageous instances of beetle kill and wild fires in recent years, Meier helps to make Colorado forests a better place by utilizing these trees like aspens, douglas firs, and lodgepole pines. Check out Meier’s new factory in Denver this season which is complete with a bar as well as windows that allow customers to watch the skis being built. There will also be a tune-up shop for any brand skis, a demo shop and a ski customization area.

csc_0325_2

Chef’s Cut

Excited for skiing this winter? We bet you are. What’s a better snack than a peppered, thick slab of beef jerkey to keep you energized on the mountain. Chef’s Cut isn’t like any beef jerky. Crafted by two chefs, this jerky is hand-cut, marinated with real ingredients and cured using a smoking process. Beef jerky flavors include the original recipe and chipotle cracked pepper. Their chicken jerky comes in teriyaki, honey barbecue and buffalo style. Chef’s Cut also has bacon jerkeys with sriracha, maple and applewood. The sriracha bacon jerkey is a must.

bacon_sriracha_2-0oz_front

Kind Design

Kind Design was founded in 2008 by Damon Redd in Vail Colorado. He was working as a ski patroller all winter and raft guide all summer and was feeling a creative inspiration from living his dream. “Taking my father’s advice to work for yourself, I decided to start a small t-shirt company as an outlet for my creativity,” says Redd. In 2012, Redd moved Kind Design to Boulder. In 2013, the floods hit him and his company hard, and he was afraid his business wouldn’t last much longer.

“I figured I could put the hats up for pre-order and at least get myself out of debt. I posted about it on Facebook to our 3,500 followers and it went viral, quickly getting our following up over 20k.  We were able to pre-sell enough hats to save the company.  The most humbling experience of my life,” Redd said.

More than just a great story, Kind Design makes great stuff. Check out Redd’s hand-drawn topographic map designs of various ski resorts. At the expo, we really like the pastel-colored ties with the topographic design.

tie_tie_vailtopo_pink_1024x1024

Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Mt. Princeton Hot Springs is located in Nathrop, Colorado between the towns of Buena Vista and Salida, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is perfect for a family vacation or a romantic getaway. You can go for a day trip or stay for a weekend. There are spa options and lots of outdoor activities to check out in the Arkansas River Valley, including river rafting. The Resort will even be adding trails that go directly from the resort to the backcountry! Happy hot springin’.

spa_3-1-1

Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch is the perfect place for families to ski and ride. Granby Ranch is located 90 miles west of Denver and only 20 miles west of Winter Park. This is a family-owned ski resort, designed for skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. There is access to gladed skiing and a terrain park with progressive features.

dsc_5579