Annual ski swap set for Friday, Saturday in Vail
VAIL, Colorado There are a few key secrets you should know if youre heading to the annual Ski & Snowboard Swap in Vail tonight. Longtime volunteers and shoppers divulged their advice for finding the choicest gear, be it goggles or a new board. Search, said Gypsum resident Candy Kullas. Theres so much stuff at the swap. Keep searching if you cant find what youre looking for. There are bargains mixed in there. And Kullas should know shes been shopping and volunteering at the swap for 11 years. Some of Kullas past swap scores include a pair of snowshoes for $5, a pair of telemark ski boots from a demo fleet and spandex downhill racing suits for her two sons who both raced for Ski Club Vail.Oh, and I always buys socks. You can never have enough socks for two boys, she said.Kullas recommended keeping an eye out for tags labeled IND, which stands for individual and means the item was brought in on consignment, often times by someone local.Those tend to be the better deals, she said. And thats really how the swap started. People brought things in and sold and bought. Ski Club took their cut on it and thats how they made their money.Consignment items from locals are still a component of the event, but less so than when the swap first started 39 years ago. The annual late fall event has evolved over the years, Kullas said. Now the majority of items are brought in by vendors who buy leftover product from manufacturers and then take it to similar swaps around the country and sell it.
Around 25 vendors, mainly from Colorado as well as Utah, New Mexico and California, will be at this years swap, said Joyce Newton, the chairwoman of the event. This is Newtons second year heading up the event, and her fourth year volunteering for the swap. Newton, the mother of two girls who are part of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, shared some suggestions for swap attendees.Come early if you want the best selection, she said. Theres no back stock of inventory so when a size or specific item is gone, its gone.Track down the vendors, all of whom will be wearing light blue T-shirts this year, and ask them questions, she said.These guys know their merchandise, they know how (the swap) works and theyre going to give you the best advice, Newton said.If youre looking for the best possible price and dont mind a smaller selection, then Newton recommends coming after 3 p.m. on Saturday. Not only is admission free, but vendors will also start discounting items around 1 p.m. on Saturday.If youre holding a binding setup thats $449, the vendors can make a deal with you. They can give you a $20 coupon you can take to the register, or they might give you two, Newton said. Kullas, who works at Slifer Designs in Edwards, always has a piece of advice for new employees at her company as well.I always tell them (the swap) is a great place to find the bargains at the beginning of the season, to get going, she said.And its also a good stop for people looking to get a jump on their holiday shopping, Kullas said.They have hats and scarves that make great presents and ski socks are always good stocking stuffers. At $5 a pair, you cant go wrong.High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: The 39th annual Ski & Snowboard SwapWhere: Dobson Ice Arena, VailWhen: Friday, 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Cost: $15 early-bird entry fee Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. The cost is $5 after 7 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Entry is free after 3 p.m. on Saturday.More information: Visit http://skiclubvail.org
This is the 39th year for the Swap and one of the largest fundraisers of the year for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Newton said. Last years event raised nearly $100,000, said Jennifer Geisness, the Clubs development director. Swap is one of our largest fundraisers and it helps fund our programs, helping keep program costs down for each athlete, she said.