Classic Lift Chairs Get an Aprés-Ski Makeover
Three Peak Designs is brining the slopes home
Benjamin Greenhaack saw a decommissioned ski chair and an idea struck him, an idea that would grow into Three Peak Designs, the passion project of three avid outdoorsmen and old friends. Greenhaack, Greg Eaddy, and Michael Arriola-Jacobson built a business repurposing ski chairs for homes, stores and hotels. Two- and three-seaters, each one is a work of art, refurbished to be comfortable and inviting while remaining true to its origins. “Whether it’s your first run, or a powder day—letting that chair lift you off is a rush,” says Arriola-Jacobson. “If we can re-create that excitement for people, even in a little way, we’ll have succeeded.”
In July 2018, Greenhaack asked Arriola-Jacobson, with a background in marketing in the outdoor industry, what it might take to acquire their own ski chairs. Arriola-Jacobson made some calls and enlisted the help of childhood friend Eaddy. Three Peak Designs was born. Call it kismet or synchronicity, but their first 75 chairs came from Massanutten, Virginia—the ski resort where Eaddy and Arriola-Jacobson grew up skiing. “It was a funny coincidence that these chairs were our first ones,” says Arriola-Jacobson. “They’ve been in use for over 30 years. Who knows how many skiers have ridden them.”
Greenhaack crafts the beautiful backs and seats of the chairs. Based in San Francisco, he shed a business career to pursue woodworking, pouring love for the material and the mountains into every piece. Before the new woodwork is mounted, Eaddy and Arriolla-Jacobson strip away all the old wood and foam seats. Each chair takes about an hour to prep—longer if there’s a safety rail to remove. The final step is to powder coat them for durability. The partners currently produce two types of chairs: those with legs and those without. The legged chairs are 1972 Borvig models from Massanutten, while the hanging chairs hail from the Sierra Nevada at Tahoe and Heavenly ski resorts.
Three Peak Designs is a collaborative effort that doesn’t end with the founders. Every piece is custom made to fit the client’s tastes. “It’s all about the customer’s vision,” says Arriola-Jacobson. “We want them to feel the creative input they had.” From the color palette to the chair model, to whether it hangs from a ceiling or stands on legs, the men work closely with each customer to make them the exact chair they want.
These chairs have a story. They began their careers carrying skiers up mountains, providing moments of rest while suspended between runs with parents, dear friends or partners. This is the next step in their journey: a long retirement plan sheltered from the elements, installed in mountain homes, providing comfort to families for years to come.