Employee Spotlight: Matt Pacocha

Gravity Haus connects people who see the world as an incredible playground. We help the planet by traveling, recreating and growing with others while and learning along the way. We believe if we’re enhancing your active lifestyle, one experience at a time, then we’re doing it right. Community first, everything else will follow. Get to know the faces behind the Gravity Haus community!

GRAVITY HAUS EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

MEET: MATT PACOCHA

Meet Matt Pacocha. New Englander turned Coloradan, you can often find him on the trails in Winter Park or ripping The Jane, that is, when he’s not managing all things Haus Quiver. Get to know him below!

Q: First, tell us about your outdoor industry background!

A: Oh boy… how long do you have?

I grew up in New England. I have  an uncle who summited all of the 4,000 footers in the White Mountains and he was really great about bringing me with him to hike and camp. I was also a boy scout and those two things cemented my passion for the outdoors.

I sucked at stick and ball sports, so sometime around 10-11 years old I found bikes and went head over heels. I was working under the table in a bike shop for store credit by 12 and then that was the only job I had until I went west for college. After a quick four years at CU, with the cycling team and ski club, I worked for the non-profit IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association). I still thought I was going to be a pro bike racer, so quit IMBA and went and raced for a season as an amateur in Belgium’s cutthroat Kermesses and low level UCI races. That got my romantic quest to be a pro out of my system and I came back and convinced VeloNews to let me write about gear for them, so another internship, turned into a lucky break, and ultimately evolved into nearly a decade as a gear journalist in the bike industry. When I was at the website BikeRadar.com, I randomly met an engineer working to make a new power meter for cyclists for a yet to be launched company… which turned out to be Stages Cycling. While I can’t take credit for the name, I was able to lead a team that built the brand into a category leader. We even supplied our products to the best teams in the business at the time, including Team Sky, and many other world class cyclists of all disciplines. A mini-mid-life crisis prompted my wife and I move our family to the mountains (after a huge western search we landed in Fraser, CO) and I started a consulting business, where I helped manufacturers like Fox Racing Shox and TRP launch new brands and into new product categories; I even helped concept and design a kid’s mogul ski with ROMP Skis—so fun! The pandemic kinda killed that and I ended up at Verde Brand Communications, one of the best PR agencies in the outdoor industry, where I got to work with amazing people and brands like Rossignol, 10 Barrel Brewing, Life Time and Yakima, among others. Now in a super fun turn of events I’m here at Gravity Haus to focus on and curate gear for our members as the brand new Haus Quiver product manager.

Q: Sweet. What drew you specifically to Gravity Haus?

A: We were lucky enough to invest in the original Breckenridge property and the rest is history…no, in all seriousness there’s something special to be and live in the mountains. I think Gravity Haus is providing one of the most attainable points of entry to the lifestyle. We’re really trying hard to make it possible for people to live, work and recreate in the mountains. The gear thing is right up my alley too. After 15 years in outdoor/bike/ski marketing and PR, I feel like I’m in a place to cut through the product and model year marketing BS and really curate a gear ‘Quiver’ that will help members have a better experience out of doors. And well… that sounds like a dream job to me.

Q: What are your favorite mountain life / Colorado activities?

A: I go up to go down. So skis in the winter, mountain bikes in the summer. A while back I read something Hadley Hammer had written about a conversation with her late fiance, David Lama. They were talking about why they ski, and whether they do it for the objective—the line—or for the feeling. I loved this idea, but unlike them, I do it for the feeling.

I am trying to hike more because it’s good for the family (including the four legged kids) and the ski legs.

Q: Road, bike, downhill – OR, all of the above? And why?

A: While I’ve ridden and raced nearly every bike imaginable. Now it’s mountain bike 100-percent of the time, for fun, and probably split 60/40 trail riding to bike park riding.

Q: What are some of your favorite pieces of gear in the Quiver?

A: I’m stoked on the Haus Quiver concept. I get to influence a lot of what goes into the Quiver. I mean, where else do you have access to a massive selection of skis. Also, having access to legit mountain bikes AND all the other perks that Gravity Haus membership offers is insane… like literally insane. BUT if I have to put my finger on a single piece of gear that I’m most stoked to have access through Quiver, it’s the $500 Camp Chef Pro 90x grill; it’s that piece of gear to me that I might not be able to buy, but getting to use it through Quiver will make me a hero at an annual multi-family camp out my family does every fall.

Q: What’s on your bucket list?

A: I’ve been going on week-long guided and catered Canadian ski tours for years now. I’ve done some with buddies, some with my wife, but the bucket list is bringing my two boys so that we have the whole family there.

I also want to do Trans BC—again—with my older son, Jack.
And a multi-day moto trip with my younger son, Max.

Q: What brought you to Colorado?

A: Bikes and Skis. I grew up in Connecticut but blasted out of there when I was 18 to go to the University of Colorado. I went back east that first summer, after skiing at A-basin the day before I left, but I’ve been a permanent resident since.  

Q: When you’re not at a Gravity Haus, where can we find you?

A: With the family, or on bikes or skis. Actually, ideally, with the family on bikes and skis. I’ve got a few more years of leading the kiddos around, then I hope they’ll let me follow… and wait for me. 

Q: What’s your superpower? 

A: Blunt force honesty in serious situations. I’m working on my tact, however. Whether voicing an opinion to a ski guide that I think has been influenced by a (my) group of shredders or the president of a company pushing for a certain directive will always speak up if I have a contrary opinion. This ‘superpower’ has both helped and probably hampered my professional career, but it has also kept me alive in the mountains so far….

Q: What about hidden talents? 

A: Keeping a ‘74 International Scout running and on the road. 

Q: Mantra you live by?

A: When in doubt, get out (side).

Q: What do you love about Gravity Haus so far?

A: It truly feels like we’re all really, genuinely, pushing towards the same goals and vision. 

Q: Words of wisdom for like-minded adventurers?

A: Do your best to make time for adventuring and sharing adventures. The latter especially. Also, I’ve found many of us have deep seated passions, but it’s important to make sure you’re making time to look up and do something different every once and a while. I have a certain set of now reformed bike racer friends who all remark—why did we spend so much time just pedaling? Adventure comes in many forms and being new or a beginner really helps push a savvy expert of one activity out of her/his comfort zone.

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