Vickae Meenach spent sleepless nights worrying if she could pay for her 15-year-old son's ski racing gear. Saturday night she'd sleep well.Meenach waited in a long line outside the Dobson Ice Arena to meet her son inside for the annual Ski and Snowboard Club Vail Ski Swap. She figured that she could spend less than $1,000."You just don't make a lot of money as an Eagle County teacher," Meenach said. "We'll see how much gear he gets and how much we spend."Inside, son Jaryd had two pairs of Atomic skis and bindings picked out. One for giant slalom, the other for slalom. The sophomore Battle Mountain student said it was important to have new gear in his first year racing.Coach Simon Marsh, also a club member, helped Jaryd pick out equipment and noted the need for consistency in ski brands for better racing. And the importance of savings.
"We try to tell everyone to come here versus retail stores," Marsh said. "You can find great deals especially for kid growing out of stuff."Vickae, a teaching assistant a Berry Creek Middle School, was thankful for the expertise Marsh provided."It's neat to have somebody out here helping the kids," she said.The swap put everything Jaryd needed in one spot. Mom wouldn't have to shuttle him all over creation to get the right gear."All this is here. Stores aren't set up for racing. It's hard to know where to get it all," Vickae said.
She also has a daughter in college. The enormous purchase waiting at the front of the ice arena was stressful, but Vickae knew she'd save a lot of money.On to poles, and Marsh pointed out a retro pair of pink poles."He wasn't going for those pink ones even if they were free," Vickae said.After saving $110 on a $140 helmet, Jared and Vickae bolted through the crowded swap toward the check-out lines.In line, Jim "Ski Bird Dog" Green rang up the damage. "You are saving our lives," Vickae said to club employee Jennifer Vance. Two pairs of skies with bindings, poles, helmet, shin and hand guards. Total bill equaled $761.21.
"I'm so relieved," Vickae said. "I've been laying awake at night."Vance, development director for the club, said the swap is a great place for Vickae and others to save a bunch of money."It's why this all started so we could offer the deals to locals," she said.Vance was also on a tight budget. But behind her sat a shiny new pair of skis."I grabbed myself a pair because I was so excited," she said.
Overall, the first two hours of the swap turned out well, Vance said. "I was in such a daze last year but it seems like things are going well," she said.Today is another day of consumerism, beginning at 10 a.m. at the ice arena.Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Vail, Colorado