Steamboat’s Boa Technology, SmartWool among best to work for |

Steamboat’s Boa Technology, SmartWool among best to work for

SmartWool employees Garett Mariano and Chelsey Goodnight review photographs to be used in the company's marketing. Steamboat Springs-based companies SmartWool and Boa Technology were listed among the top 100 places to work for by Outside magazine.
John F. Russell

— A pair of businesses in the outdoor industry with long ties to Steamboat Springs has been named to the list of the 100 best places to work for by Outside magazine.

Boa Technology, which was founded in Steamboat and maintains an office here but is headquartered in Denver, ranks 60th on the list. SmartWool, the veteran manufacturer of merino wool products, is No. 95 on the list. SmartWool is headquartered at Steamboat Springs Airport.

Outside will announce its 30 best places to work in the September issue of the magazine along with "70 more best places to work," bringing the local companies into the fold.

Heading the entire list is a Denver tech company, ReadyTalk, which creates software products for sales teams. The No. 2 company is Natural Habitat Adventures, and the third-best company to work for is Seeley Lake Elementary School in Seeley Lake, Mont., according to the magazine.

Boa Technology, founded by Steamboat resident Gary Hammerslag in the 1990s, makes cable-lacing systems for a wide variety of athletic footwear, from running shoes to snowboard boots. Boa has continued to expand in recent years and now is in the midst of launching a new medical devices product line.

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Outside reports that the Boa culture includes encouraging employees to take lunchtime bicycle rides along the Platte River in Denver, or to just go for a walk, and backs it up with a half-dozen employee showers.

Perks at Boa include an annual $500 health and wellness bonus applicable to gym memberships, ski passes and race entries.

Like Boa, SmartWool awards activity passes to its 83 employees. They are encouraged to take part in frequent "product testing" outings that may involve bikes rides, ski days and weekend overnights. A group of SmartWool employees recently undertook the annual road ride to the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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