Ear to the ground

“Wow, that’s Ted Holteen’s dream come true.”

-A local woman predicting how the former Society Page columnist will react to this weekend’s female barbershopper performance

The perfect ski?

Pete Wagner believes he’s invented the ultimate ski, and the entrepreneur, who lives west of Telluride, wants to share the creation. Wagner recently launched Wagner Custom, a company specializing in handmade custom skis.

The core of a Wagner ski is maple and white ash, and the clear-coated, top-sheet hearkens back to skiing’s roots. But there is nothing traditional about the ski’s performance. Wagner Custom’s goal is to offer the custom-made ski service Olympic racers receive to the masses. “Bode Miller has a whole team of experts whose job is to build him a ski that is perfect; we want to provide that same service to the recreational skier,” Wagner told theTelluride Watch.

Wagner Custom is not alone. The boutique ski trend is taking off in Colorado. Small home-grown ski companies have launched in Aspen, Breckenridge, Edwards and of course, in Silverton with the arrival of ScottyBob. All of these new upstarts are earning dedicated followings that range from the weekend warrior to the sponsored athlete.

With a $1,500 price tag, Wagner Custom skis might seem a little out of reach for your average service industry, ski bum. But perfection comes at a cost.

“Considering that we guarantee to continue building your skis until you get the pair that is exactly what you want, it’s an actually reasonable amount of money to spend,” Herb Manning, Wagner public relations director, told theWatch. “After all, think about how much money people spend on custom footbeds and bootfitting, and then go click into a pair of mass-produced skis.”

America’s best

Men’s Journalhas smiled on Mountain Bike Specialists. The Durango business earned honors as best bike shop in a recent article entitled, “America’s Best.”

“Mountain Bike Specialist has distinguished itself by wrenching for top pros such as Ned Overend and Shonny Vanlandingham and dispensing beta on local trails,” the magazine crooned.

This is the second time Mountain Bike Specialists has been named best bike shop byMen’s Journal. The downtown Durango bike shop was also named a top retailer byBicycle Retailer.