Gear galore at annual Ski & Snowboard Club Vail swap at Dobson Ice Arena
Ski Swap Schedule
• Friday: 5-7 p.m., $15 admission; 7-10 p.m., $10 admission.
• Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
• Sunday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.
Boots, boards and bindings, oh my! Skis, snowboards and socks, yes please! Onesies, of course!
You name it — hard goods, soft goods, used, new — everything you need for winter sports will fill Dobson Ice Arena in Vail this weekend for the 47th annual ski swap, where about 90 percent of the gear will be new.
For the past couple of weeks, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail has been collecting gear from the community and setting up vendors to keep one of Vail’s longest-running fundraisers alive and well.
Thirty percent of sales at the swap go to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s annual fund, which helps provide financial support for students, and the other 70 percent goes to the seller.
“This valley was founded on skiing, and getting kids into skiing is really important,” said Euginnia Seyferth, an organizer of the swap for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.
And the swap will have much more than skis. Everything from underneath the feet — skis, snowboards, tele skis — to everything on the head — goggles, helmets, balaclavas — will cover the arena’s floor, as well as the surrounding seats.
“It’s just a great event. It’s part of Vail,” said Rocky Christopher, who has been working or volunteering at the swap since 1990. “You see all of your old friends. Everyone comes out for it.”
Christopher remembers a time when the swap was the No. 1 retailer in the United States for one day, selling $500,000 in a 24-hour period.
“It was huge. Lines were going up to the parking structure and it was very big,” he said. “It’s not as big as it was, but it’s still a big event.”
Beginning today and continuing through Sunday, snow junkies and amateurs young and old will gather at the swap. Organizers recommend getting there earlier in the weekend when the most gear will be available.
The swap is also a great place for those anticipating an ugly sweater party or Closing Day costume.
“It’s more of what people see — the hidden treasures — and what they’d make with them later on,” Christopher said.
While the internet has changed the way people shop, the swap is more than simply a place to peruse winter gear. It’s a place to socialize about the upcoming season, catch up with old friends and meet new ones, too.
“It’s almost like a big party,” said Geoff Mintz, an organizer with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.
IF YOU GO
The ski swap gets going today at 5 p.m. From 5 to 7 p.m., admission is $15. From 7 to 10 p.m., admission is $10. Students and teachers get $10 off admission. Saturday, the swap goes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free on Saturday and Sunday.
If you’re planning on going today, then dress warmly, as you’ll likely spend some time outside waiting in line. Once inside, consider checking your coat so you can try things on. There will be volunteers inside to help answer any questions.
“Get involved and buy something,” Christopher said, “and see a lot of your friends.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.