Two years ago, Mike Keshian, a self-described ski bum living in Crested Butte, was looking for new ways to meet women. “Most ski towns are, like, eight guys to one girl, so it is pretty tough for guys to meet women,” the 32-year-old told Men’s Journal.
At the time, Keshian was using OkCupid, Tinder, and Plenty of Fish, but found the dating apps never really worked for him. He saw an ad for FarmersOnly.com, which targets the agriculture community, and wondered why there wasn't an app for ski bums like himself. With the help of a few friends, Keshian created LuvByrd, a dating app for outdoor enthusiasts.
“It is a lot different than meeting someone on a typical dating site,” Keshian says. “On my typical online dates we’d meet at a restaurant or bar and connect that way. But most people on first dates on LuvByrd would like to go hiking or skiing together.”
The app, previously only available in Colorado, is now expanding to cities like New York, Chicago, and L.A., where Keshian says it can be harder to meet outdoor enthusiasts. Users can search out possible dates based on their favorite activities, mountains to ski, and level of ability.
“The dating industry is all about some kind of common interest,” Keshian says. “For someone who is an outdoor enthusiast, that is probably their number one interest, and it’s the easiest way for people to connect. Like, ‘Oh you’ve got the epic pass, let’s go ski Breck. I’ll meet you there.’ ”
The basic LuvByrd app is currently free to use, with a premium version that includes features like unlimited messages, and the ability to see who has liked you. The company plans to launch a feature where users will be notified if someone they have been messaging with is in the area, for example, at the same ski resort.
A walking advertisement for his product, Keshian actually met his girlfriend, Kelly, through the app. Shortly after they connected, they bought some plane tickets and headed to the Redwood National Park.
“We drove to the coast, and we woke up in the morning for sunrise, and there was water on both sides of us and it was amazing,” Keshian says. “We continued through the Redwoods, and we parked the car, and just kind of wandered around together. She was so into it, and for me, someone who can rough it a little bit more than most girls, was definitely a selling point.”