Holiday Valley, like many other high-volume rental shops, has adopted a reduced-sole-length system, in this case, the Elan/Dalbello system. While that speeds the process, it also allows Holiday Valley to decide how much customer service to provide.

“I’m blessed with a lot of space,” says Brian Halloran, rental manager. “The efficiency of the Elan/Dalbello system helps, too.” The shop’s junior fleet is equipped with Dalbello’s four-sole-length 4Factor boots, “and that definitely makes kids rental easier,” he says. The shop is putting in the 4Factor models for adults for the coming season as well.

Kids rental is big business at Holiday Valley, where the shop can handle 350 juniors on a busy day. And they all get plenty of personal attention. “You can make the process as hands-on as you want. We are more hands-on with kids,” Halloran says. “We want them to stay with the sport, of course.”

The process at the kids center supports that aim. “We have a separate rental area for first-timers in the kids center. The kids meet with their instructors there, and get lots of help to make sure they are set up right,” Halloran says. “There’s big involvement with the instructors at that time. The group sizes are small, the instructors greet the kids, and get a feel for the individuals. It’s a real good one-on-one process.”

Holiday Valley follows much the same approach for snowboarders. As with the alpine gear, the Burton system uses color-coding to speed the process. And for those exceptional situations, “we keep a pile of snowboard bindings under the counter so that we can switch them out fast,” Halloran says. Again, the involvement of the instructors helps ensure kids get the right gear and are comfortable with the process.