Ski Souls, a travel service, teams up with dating app The League to let singles mingle on the slopes
Love is reaching new heights.
Ski Souls, a new dating and travel service, brings eligible singles who love to ski and explore the great outdoors together on the slopes.
The concept was started up by snowbirds Bruce Berkman, 61, and his partner Gundula Brattke, 57, who met on Bumble last year and bonded over their mutual love of skiing and outdoor excursions.
“When we first met, our initial conversation was largely about how hard it is to find people to do something with. In her case, it was post-divorce and losing the ski house and ski partner,” Berkman tells Moneyish of inspiration behind the company.
“Skiing was always big for both of us. She [Brattke] kept telling me she was a great skier from having lived in Mammoth, California and I was a pretty aggressive skier when I was younger so we went on our first trip to Telluride and skied well together,” he says.
Having a ski partner on the slopes seemed like a compatible and adventurous way to get to know someone, says Berkman, so after dating for a little over a year, the couple decided to turn their passion for the snow sport into a small business. They gathered together like-minded people who were tired of swiping on dating apps and were eager to meet in real life for more adventurous destination dating. The goal was to create a summer camp-like experience for adults in the winter.
“It was hot and heavy within a few months. We’re all in. You can’t have a relationship and a business if you’re not going to stick to it,” says Berkman of finding a romantic relationship and a business partner.
Gundula, a native of East Germany, worked in the entertainment industry and runs the social part of the business networking with potential attendees and taking care of the marketing for SkiSouls while Berkman, a former Wall Street analyst, does all the research for hotels and the best dining experiences for each trip.
“We wanted to build an itinerary with amazing skiing, but we also wanted villages where there are restaurants and activities,” says Berkman of handpicking travel destinations, exploring options from Canada to Colorado.
People looking to sign up should be prepared to dedicate some time to actually skiing — it’s not a Tinder weekend hookup situation, Brattke assures. The trips are a week long, and include luxury hotels, ski passes, mountain tours, group activities like snow tubing or brewery tours and lessons for beginners. Prices range from $1600 to $3400 for five nights and include food and lodging. On the first night, Berkman and Brattke host a welcome dinner, the rest of the nights carve out time for group happy hours so people can mingle during a little apres ski.
“We’re telling people this is not a hook-up trip, this is a social trip — we’re going to keep the sexes somewhat balanced, you’ll meet people who share a common interest,” says Berkman.
The trips are broken down for different age groups with up to 25 people in each. An upcoming trip to Whistler in Canada is for a group of Gen Xers, while others to Colorado in Vail and Telluride are specifically geared towards the millennial crowd.
The cool concept even caught the attention of elite members-only dating app The League for millennials. People with a profile on the dating app can also sign up for select SkiSouls trips and the matchmakers at The League sift through applicant’s profiles to put together a group of personalities they think will mesh well.
While Berkman can’t guarantee a love connection, he is certainly confident attendees will have a memorable time.
“They’ll be a few intimate moments, maybe you’ll find love on the slopes too,” says Berkman.
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