Originally Posted by Yuki
vinn: I have worked a few medimum size "feeder areas" very close to Phil and I strongly disagree with you on this one. I see the skis that the rental department puts on the hill and actually tried to get into a pair of boots one day. It was on a quiet night too and the kids in the shop tried hard to get me into boots (I was wearing my instructors jacket) but between the pain and the wet (I'd have dealt with that since I wanted to be on the hill that night), it was not a "happening thing".
They are never waxed or sharpened and have several brutal seasons on them. People in the lodge will put their foot on the wet carpet and right back into the boot (cause of most stinky boot problems). At least the boots in one of the local shops will be of low/medium quality with buckles and are easily adjustable. At a shop they will have had at least a few days drying time.
Guess I was wrong.
I know the shop at the resort I used to work at tuned their entire fleet after they had about 20 days on each ski (which for the fanatics I'm sure you'll find that terrible, but it's fine for most people.) In fact, if you skied any of the "intermediate" or "expert" skis (for about $5-$10 more a day), it was almost a given they only had a handful of days on them each year. We had about 10 different types of boots and we knew the ins and outs of each - we knew which one would work for the skinny young kid and which one would work for the woman with fat ankles. We were trained by Salomon reps how to test bindings and set them up. So all in all, it was just as good of place to rent as the local shop. Where it fell apart was if you had to wait in line - it wasn't unusual to have a 45 minute line on a busy weekend.
I don't recall what it was like to rent skis when I was growing up - I only did it for a year before I bought some. It was probably like what you described. But most of the resort shops I've been into around here seem to be really good. Probably because the other local shops are so strong - it's forced the mountain to step it up. Bummer the ski area shops out east suck.