Here is another quick look into one of our fine employees at Teton Village Sports. If you have come into the rental/repair area of TVS, chances are that you have run into Braden Masselink. As the Rental/repair manager, Braden has helped thousands of visitors get equipped with the right demo and rental skis, as well as tuned up countless customers skis. We sat down with Braden earlier today to get a little background on his long stint here in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Where are you from?
Braden- Holland, Michigan
How long have you been here in Jackson? In what year did you move out?
B- I moved out here in 2000, so this is my 14th year. I have worked at Teton Village Sports for all 14 years.
Are you the most tenured employee at TVS?
B- No, I believe Mark Thompson (Boot-fitter and all-around Guru) is. But, Duffy Mcgee (Hard Goods Buyer/Boot-fitter), Nick Grimes (Repair), and Mitch Luedloff (Repair) have all been here a bit longer than myself.
What is your job description here at TVS?
B- I am the rental/repair manager. So I oversee the overall operation in the back shop. This includes solving any issues that arise, taking care of special request tuning, and making sure the shop runs smoothly in general.
What is your favorite part of working at TVS?
B- The long-time clientele and family atmosphere among the employees is why I love to work here. We have customers that have been coming to the shop way longer than I have lived here. I have mounted skis for kids that were 6 years old, and now they are 6 feet tall and ski every day. It’s pretty cool to watch customers’ kids grow throughout the years, and know that I helped with their skiing experience.
What is your most memorable season at JH?
B- All of them.
What’s your favorite ski that we carry here in TVS?
B- Wagner custom.
What’s your favorite ski run at JH?
B- (Laughing) I cannot disclose that information.
In what ways has Jackson Hole changed in your 14 years?
B- As a village and community it has just grown exponentially. The build-up of the village in general has been incredible to watch. When I arrived, there was the Inn at Jackson Hole, The Hostel, Wildernest and Snake River Lodge. Now there is Hotel Terra, Terra 2, Teton Mountain Lodge, The Four Seasons, countless condos and houses and Wildernest is a hole in the ground (soon to be a new building). TVS wasn’t even in the same location…Crystal Springs is a relatively new building. The resort itself has expanded as well. I’ve seen new lifts go up, new trams built and plenty of resort make-overs. TVS used to be privately owned and is now owned by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. So yeah, in 14 years I have seen a lot of change here. What hasn’t changed is the great skiing, friendly atmosphere and beauty of Jackson Hole.
How amazing were powder days back in the day?
B- Pretty cool (chuckling). It would take a full day for the village to get tracked out, compared to an hour now. There was a little bit more of a mellow vibe because of that, but there were still some crowded days during Christmas. Waiting in tram line was a bit different though. If you left your skis in line as you went to take a break from the line, they would end up down on the sidewalk by the ticket office. My first season was also the first year of the boundaries being open. We definitely took advantage of the new rules and it was a very fun and exploratory year. We really learned a lot in the first few seasons.
What equipment do we use here at Teton Village Sports for tuning?
B- We have a Montana Sander, Montana Side-edger, Montana Snow-star for base structuring, and a Reichmann DTSU for base and side-edging. All of these machines are followed by hand-finishing and iron-on wax.
Why should locals and visitors alike come to TVS for their repair and rental needs?
B- We tune to make the most enjoyable daily experience for every customer regardless of skiing experience or ability, and with a staff of over 90 years of combined experience we feel that we can live up to our reputation. Rental wise, we carry the best products around; including Salomon, Rossignol, Blizzard, Volkl, Wagner, Nordica, Dynastar and Faction.
Come stop by the shop, say “Hi” to Braden and get some expert tune-work done on your skis. We also have plenty of Demos available for the deep snow that we have been experiencing all of February. It’s a great time to try those powder skis you have had your eye on all season!