One of the free services that the Little Nell, a luxury hotel in Colorado at the base of Aspen Mountain, offers its guests is a ski concierge. Here's an edited chat with Ray McNutt, a 10-year veteran:
How do ski concierges help guests get ready for skiing?
We book their lift tickets and their lessons. If they brought their own skis here, we pick them up at the airport and get them ready. If they rented skis from a ski shop in town, we'll pick those up, too. We also store skis for guests who come a couple times a year. We tune up skis at night.
In the morning, you come down from your room in your slippers, and we help you get your boots on, if you need that assistance. We give any information about the conditions, good runs, any advisories. We hand you your skis, and the gondola is just 30 steps away.
The days I grew up skiing -- getting out at a dirt parking lot and schlepping all your stuff -- it's not at all like that.
Any other perks?
Guests can sign up to do one run down the mountain before it opens at 9 in the morning. It's beautiful: The light is different; it's quiet; you're the only person on the run. That's part of the complimentary service. On Saturdays, we set up a nice breakfast at the top of the mountain for $25.
What's one of the crazy requests you've gotten?
I got a call one Christmas Eve from a woman who desperately wanted to get a pair of Volkl skis for her 6-year-old daughter
-- Emily Brennan, New York Times