December 8, 2019
Dedicated owners, exclusive brands and exceptional customer service have earned Miller Sports a spot as one of Aspen’s top ski shops.Ted Davenport (left) and Bill Miller (right) in their Aspen store.
Miller Sports’ mantra is simple: Have the best product and the best customer service. Add to that a selection of unique brands (many of them European), a welcoming and informed staff, and a keen eye for what’s hot in the snow industry, and it’s a recipe that has proven successful since Bill Miller opened the high-end boutique in 2013. “Aspen is a special place, and the people who visit here deserve to have a special experience when they come into Miller Sports,” says Ted Davenport, former pro big mountain skier and Miller’s business partner since 2016.
Together, Miller and Davenport have made a thoughtfully curated selection of merchandise paramount to their business plan. To wit, many of the lines they carry are exclusive to them, including German-based Casco helmets, which is only sold at Miller Sports in all of North America. Miller also boasts the continent’s largest collection of Toni Sailer from Germany, which has become the shop’s signature brand. Additionally, they have the local exclusive on Cordova, Sportalm, Alps & Meters and Mountain Force. “Ted and I are constantly looking for new brands, whether it be on social media or on the slopes of the Alps,” says Miller, a former pro speed skier, who also owned Aspen’s Hamilton Sports until recently. “[Brands] must have an ‘it’ factor, which you only recognize from being a skier all your life and running ski shops for 35 years.”
This fall, Miller Sports broadened its footprint with a new store in Vail. “It was the perfect fit for our expansion,” says Davenport. “It caters to a similar clientele as Aspen—visitors from all over the world coming to experience the very best in ski terrain, shopping, food and more.”
In addition to its stores, Miller Sports is also expanding its offerings, tapping into Miller’s and Davenport’s expansive knowledge of the industry to create their own line of skis. “We wanted to create a ski brand that went hand in hand with our skiwear—something exclusive, superpremium and, of course, handmade in Austria,” says Davenport. The result was two models of skis, the all-mountain SR 88 and the soft-snow/side country-specific SR 99. “We are trying to offer our customers something special and unique, something you don’t find in every ski shop in America,” says Miller. And for those who don’t reside in a mountain town, the partners have also made sure their website ranks among the best in the industry, offering almost everything they offer in-store online as well.
Above all else, Miller and Davenport agree it’s the customer experience that is the most important. “We greet everyone as they walk in the door and try to make them feel as comfortable as possible,” says Miller. “That may seem simple, but, in our business, it goes a long way.” 408 S. Hunter St., Aspen; 141 E. Meadow Drive, Vail
Photography by: David Clifford