Mike Waesche crafted RMU, a ski company and social haunt that is all about celebrating mountain culture
By Shauna Farnell
Growing up in Castle Rock, Mike Waesche originally moved to Summit County to be a firefighter … and to ski.
Then he and a few buddies started building their own skis. They tinkered in a garage, taking their prototypes out on the hill to self-test.
As it turned out, they knew what they were doing. It didn’t take long to make a name for themselves. Somebody dubbed the operation RMU – Rocky Mountain Underground. Word spread. Waesche opened his garage and warehouse space in 2009.
As its name and reputation grew, RMU opened its shop on Main Street in 2011. By 2016, the shop was selling skis, backpacks and apparel. It also doubled as a bar, featuring live music on select days. In 2020, RMU opened a second location in Whistler, B.C. and last year, another in Truckee, Calif.
Stop by RMU any afternoon and you’ll find the place jam-packed inside and out with people and dogs. The company now makes 2,000 skis a year, sold at REI and distributed throughout the world.
Breck’s RMU is in the process of growing, too. It will expand to three floors, the downstairs operating as the bar, the second floor as a tune shop for boards in the winter and bikes in the summer. There will also be a rooftop patio. The new RMU is scheduled to open this February.
Looking back, Waesche never envisioned his garage tinkering would transform into a small, cross-border ski shop empire.
But again. It’s not about the skis.
Although Mike Waesche splits his time between RMU’s three locations and is raising a young daughter (Remy Ray, going on 2 years old), he makes a point to personally appreciate and practice mountain culture every time he’s home in Breck.
Head to RMU’s company website: www.mtnculture.com
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