We get plenty of Vail inspiration even in the off-season when we tap into the good vibes of our ski ambassadors. At Vista Bahn Ski Rentals, family is as much a part of our business as Vail ski rentals and ski tuning are a part of our business. Luckily, VBSR Ski Ambassador Chris Bivona is someone who fits into this family as a friend, skier, overall amazing athlete, and business innovator.
We recently caught up with Chris to see what he’s up to when he’s not skiing. As it turns out, he’s up to quite a lot. Within the ski industry, Chris is currently the Colorado / New Mexico rep for Sync, a performance ski clothing and gear company with East Vail roots. Plus, he also manages his own clothing brand, 8150 Gear, devoted to training clothing and apparel for lacrosse athletes. During the summer season, Chris leads the Vail Valley Lacrosse Club and organizes lacrosse camps and tournaments.
A lot of the Vail inspiration that Chris brings to VBSR is wrapped up in his good business sense. After moving to Vail in 2013, he worked successfully within the sink-or-swim culture of Colorado’s fast-paced ski industry. And then he went on to combine this experience with his passion to launch his own 8150 Gear brand. What were some of the important moments that inspired Chris Bivona along this unique path? Read on to find out.
Vail Inspiration: Interview with Chris Bivona
Vista Bahn Ski Rentals [VBSR]: What is your earliest memory of skiing?
Chris Bivona [CB]: Skiing at Hidden Valley in Vernon, New Jersey, age 5.
VBSR: When did you know you wanted the ski industry to be a part of your career?
CB: I knew when I moved to Colorado in 2013. I was not working in the industry, but I moved to Vail and randomly started helping people. So that’s basically how I got into it. I’ve been selling anything and everything since I was 10 years old. I did have a desk job after college, but I lasted only 3 days before quitting.
VBSR: What was your first paid job in the industry?
CB: I was a pro rep for Prêt (helmets), Faction Skis, Strafe Outerwear, and Monsroyale (clothing, based in New Zealand). I then converted to be a being a full-time rep and was forced to learn the industry—very quickly.
VBSR: How did you get introduced to the Gros / VBSR family?
CB: I grew up ski racing in New Jersey when Sacha was skiing on the World Cup. He was my idol. I watched him on TV. I geeked out when suddenly I was meeting my idol in Vail, getting gear from him, having him tune and mount my skis. It is really cool to have your idol become your friend.
VBSR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 20 years?
CB: Hopefully I’ll be in Vail continuing to do the things we all love, which is why we live here. Lacrosse has grown so much in a short time period. I hope it stays in the mix. My mom lives in the area, and I just bought a place in West Vail. So like VBSR, it’s a family affair.
The Details: Chris Bivona’s Vail Inspiration
What fuels Chris Bivona’s Vail inspiration? Top gear, of course. Here’s what’s among his current stash:
- Powder Ski: Salomon, 118
- Carving Ski: Salomon, 99
- All Mountain Ski: Salomon, 106
- Race Ski: “None,” he says. “I’m too old for that.” We doubt it.
- Boot: Lange Freetour 130
The input we get from our ski ambassadors helps make Vista Bahn Ski Rentals Vail’s top ski rental location that’s just steps away from Gondola One. Ambassadors like Chris Bivona keep the Vail inspiration alive for us all year long. But we still look forward to seeing new faces and loyal customers back in our shop each winter. Until then, check out our website for details about our Vail ski rentals, ski tuning, and ski storage. We rent snowboards, too, and we also make it easy for you to reserve snowboard and ski rentals online.