Flagstaff couple ready to part with giant collection of ski outfits

Standing in their dining room in a riot of color surrounded by more than 150 different vintage ski outfits, Paul Berg and Jen Saunders’ smiles were almost as overwhelming as the collection that they had spent more than three years piecing together from stores and eBay auctions.

“We just want them to stay in town, to still be up on the mountain,” Berg said.

The couple decided that as fabulous as their collection is, it’s time to downsize, so they have come up with a unique idea to let go of the collection but hopefully pass it on to locals so that the pieces will still be seen on the slopes of the Arizona Snowbowl.

“We are hosting a pop-up sale in the downtown taproom at Mother Road Brewery from 4 to 8 pm on Thursday night,” Saunders said. “We have invited a lot of people from the local ski community, and Mother Road has posted on their social media, so we will just see who shows up. We have no idea what to expect.”

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Hanging on racks are two sets of matching Siegfried and Roy his-and-hers onesies, a Western ski suit with a 4-inch brown leather fringe across the shoulders, and a seemingly endless assortment of screaming bright neon from the 1980s and early ’90s .



The vintage ski suits that Paul Berg and Jen Saunders amassed in their collection include everything from a super rare juk box suit to pairs of matching Siegfried and Roy promotional suits.


Paul Berg, courtesy

“In total we have 180 pieces that will be in the sale,” Saunders said.

“Eighty-one pieces and then ski bibs, pants and jackets,” Berg added.

It’s a truly unique and epic collection that has been somewhat legendary in Flagstaff ski circles for the past decade.

“There were a couple of years where I skied 50 days and I’d get [backlash] from people if they saw the same outfit twice. That’s just how deep the collection was,” Berg said with a laugh.

“A lot of the ones that we bought off eBay came from Europe — Latvia or the Czech Republic. They would come vacuum-packed, squeezed down into tiny packages to save on shipping. When you cut the package they would almost explode out,” Berg said.

She added: “We would hang them up to air out and then clean them.”

Looking across the collection, Berg called out the names of the more high-end items.

“There are brands here from Bogner, Obermeyer, Dscente, Head and lots of North Face,” Berg said.



Matchy Matchy

Paul Berg and Jen Saunders pose for a portrait while skiing in a matching pair of suits from their collection of vintage ski suits.


Paul Berg, courtesy

“I bet there’s $25 grand here,” he said. “But we just want them to stay here. There’s stuff we are selling from pants for $10 to $20 to high-end Bogner’s, that we can find provenance online for $1,000 to $1,500, that we are selling for $300.”

The couple is downsizing but not quite ready to empty the closets completely.

Hanging in the corner at the end of one of the racks is the cherry of the collection. It’s a jukebox-themed one-piece that has a battery-powered music box tucked into a special pocket near the collar.

“We are keeping this one; it’s just too special and we can’t let it go. We found one a bit like it on eBay and it was listed for almost $3,000,” Saunders said.

They know they have some hidden gems in the collection.

“You can still find them on eBay, but most of the cool ones like these are gone. It’s a lot harder to find the ones with the sparkle,” Berg said.



A Suit For Every Style

The vintage ski suits that Paul Berg and Jen Saunders amassed in their collection include everything from a super rare juk box suit to pairs of matching Siegfried and Roy promotional suits.


Paul Berg, courtesy

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