COVID-19 restrictions have caused many nonprofits to cancel fundraisers this year or turn to virtual events, but for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, a 50-year-old event did not have to break tradition.
The annual Vail Ski Swap will still be held at Dobson Ice Arena this weekend, but it will look different than it has the past five decades.
The swap has historically been made possible through the support of approximately 15 vendors in addition to individual community members selling gear at the Swap.
“With COVID-19 indoor restrictions limited to 100 people or less at the time SSCV needed to make a decision as to whether or not to proceed with the swap there was very little, if any, room left for customers after taking into account the vendor staff and volunteers needed to run the event,” said Sharon Schmidt, director of advancement at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.
“In order to minimize the financial risk of proceeding with the swap, the club made the very difficult decision not to hold the Swap in 2020,” Schmidt said.
That news traveled to the different vendors who participate each year in the event and one vendor stepped up with a solution.
“One of SSCV’s longtime swap vendors, Ski Pro, offered to run the Swap this year as the single, third-party vendor, thus opening up significantly more space for customers with no risk to SSCV,” Schmidt said.
“We are grateful for Ski Pro’s support in keeping the Swap tradition going in 2020,” Schmidt said.
“It is important to Ski Pro because of the decades of support for the Swap that we have given and will continue to do so,” said Jack Kannapel, of Ski Pro. “The Swap is important to the community because it supports the activities of many snowsports enthusiasts locally and supports the club’s athletes,” Kannapel said.
“Proceeds from the swap help enable Ski & Snowboard Club Vail to be able to provide the level of quality commensurate to the needs and goals of all our athletes so they can become the best they can be by helping to support the operations of SSCV as well as financial aid in the current fiscal year,” Schmidt said.
The Swap will be different this year due to the many precautions taken to keep everyone as safe as possible. Only 100 people are allowed in the building at any time. Tickets are free but you need to go to Eventbrite to reserve a time. At press time, Thursday and Friday were sold out, but there were still times available on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and on Sunday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
What won’t change is the variety of items that can be found and discounts on equipment you need for the winter snowsports season. Skis, snowboards, boots, bindings, poles, helmets, goggles and winter clothing will be up for grabs.