Most skiers share some version of this fantasy: Getting on the chairlift with some stranger, and in the 10-minute ride to the top, starting what will become an amazing alpine fairy-tale love story—or at least getting invited to his or her après hot tub party. In early December, I attended chairlift speed dating, which is pretty much the same thing.
Chairlift speed dating is the brainchild of LuvByrd, a dating app geared toward outdoor-minded singles of all ages. Chairlift speed dating definitely brought out those types.
The event was held at Loveland Ski Area. I asked Mike Keshian, the founder of LuvByrd if the obvious name similarities between the ski area and his app had any bearing on him choosing Loveland as his venue. Funny enough, he said no.
The speed dating started at the base where people were identified by ribbons. Pink, yellow and orange were handed out by age groups: 20s, 30s and 40s. A second ribbon was tied on based on skill level: green, blue and black.
From there, Keshian paired people based on ages and skill levels. Each couple had the duration of the lift line and chairlift ride to get to know each other. This was usually about 10 minutes since Loveland did a great job of keeping lines to a minimum. Once you and your partner made it back to the LuvByrd tent, you said your goodbyes and were paired with a new partner.
Anybody that was left hanging around the LuvByrd tent was treated to samples by the reps for Upslope Brewing.
And what would slopestyle speed dating be without the après? Like cake without the frosting, pretty much pointless. LuvByrd also hosted a happy hour after the ski day. A raffle included some amazing prizes, including a brand new pair of skis. For each chairlift ride that an attendee made, he or she received a raffle ticket. It was definitely incentive to take as many runs and “dates” as we possibly could—beyond the obvious reward of hanging out and skiing or snowboarding some great runs with great people.
The happy hour was a second opportunity to get contact information from your favorite date or dates—if you could recognize them. After all, it was so cold that everyone was bundled and covered up on the lifts. Insert blind date joke here? I’ll spare you. However, we should consider pitching this as a reality show idea.
The day was absolutely incredible. Everybody was there to take part in the dates, but also understood the obvious humor that an event like this would bring. Because of that, everyone seemed to be there to have a good time and not take things too seriously. This was probably the most mellow and casual, yet fun dating or singles event that I have ever attended. Even though I didn’t get a chance to grab everyone’s information, I don’t think I met a single person who I wouldn’t want to hang out with again.
You could say that lines up with the goals of the LuvByrd app itself, which launched in 2015. “People on dating apps who are outdoor enthusiasts are constantly swiping through looking for their interests,” Keshian says. “LuvByrd eliminates the hassle.”
A former ski bum, Keshian came up with the idea after realizing that the big online dating apps like Tinder just weren’t leading him to women who shared his love for outdoor adventure.
Now LuvByrd is a great place to meet outdoor urbanites and weekend warriors. Users that connect are more likely to go skiing, hiking or cycling together than to do a typical dinner or drinks first date. Based in Denver, LuvByrd has now spread to the West Coast and eastward to the likes of Chicago and New York.
“I met my girlfriend on the app during beta about two and half years ago, and we’re still together,” Keshian says. “I guess that’s the ultimate success story.”
Your Speed Date Awaits
LuvByrd has more speed dating and meetup events planned at Loveland this winter, including one around Valentines Day and another closer to St. Patrick’s Day. Watch the LuvByrd app or social media for details.
Get more info at luvbyrd.com.