Many students enjoy skiing and outdoor activities during the winter break and the University of Idaho Rental Center in the Student Recreation Center is helping that process be more affordable.
Officially starting on Dec. 20, the Rental Center is offering a package deal for winter break that will allow students and local community members to rent any gear for a large discount for the duration of the break.
The rental sale focuses mostly on the typical snow gear like alpine skis or snowboards but does include all of the gear in the center, from snow shovels and sleeping bags to specialized backcountry gear like avalanche beacons and telemark skis.
The standard ski or snowboard rental package is $85 for the break. All other gear is being advertised at the full 25 days of break for the price of a week’s rental.
If you are going to rent gear this break and plan on using it more than one day, then the financially best decision would be to rent the gear for this discounted price.
“It dies in here over break, so we try to get the gear in the hands of the people who want the gear. At our prices, if you use the gear a couple of times then you have earned your money’s worth. My objective is to get the gear into peoples hands,” said Steve Mims, Outdoor Program assistant coordinator.
On the other hand, if you are just going up to an established ski resort for the day and do not plan on returning for another day, then the resort’s rental center would probably be the best financial decision.
Rentals on the mountains at popular local ski destinations, such as Schweitzer or Sun Valley, will run about $50 a day for their standard packages and up to $80 to $100 a day for what are called promo rentals. Usually, these promo rentals offer the option to try out new gear from top of the line producers with the option to buy the gear at the end of the day.
This option can be the most expensive option for skiers this break, but comes with the added bonus of putting your rental money towards buying the gear if that is your end goal.
“What I always tell people is it is obviously cheaper (to rent for us) if you’re going for the weekend. But if you are just going for one day, then it won’t make a difference and for this break deal, it may be cheaper for you if you just want to ski one day to get it there,” Rental Center employee Pat Mahoney said.
On top of offering deals for the winter break, the Rental Center is offering to tune and wax equipment. Mims said he has over 30 years experience in fixing and tuning skis and snowboards and the Rental Center is in many instances, the best bet for students to maintain their gear.
“We have been getting a couple in our door every day this week. I just got seven yesterday and one set of skis that had (to be) delaminated,” Mims said.
Curtis Ginnetti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org