Off the Hill with Tricia Swenson: Annual swap offers savings | VailDaily.com

Off the Hill with Tricia Swenson: Annual swap offers savings

With sunny skies and daytime temperatures near 60 degrees it's hard to think about the ski season. Cyclists are still hitting the trails and convertibles can be seen driving down Highway 6 with their tops down. But with Arapahoe Basin open and Vail and Beaver Creek kicking off the season in just a few weeks, it's time to shift gears and start thinking snow.

One way to get yourself excited for what winter has to offer is to surround yourself with all the gear you will need to enjoy the slopes at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail's annual swap.

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is one of the oldest non-profits in the valley. Back in 1962, the then-titled Ski Club Vail was formed so that Vail could host USSA and FIS sanctioned races.

In the early days, U.S. Ski Team coach Bob Beattie first brought the U.S. National training Camp to Vail. Beattie and the National Team returned in 1963 and 1965.

Since then, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail has produced Olympic medalists like Toby Dawson and Lindsey Vonn, but they go beyond developing top athletes who compete on a worldwide stage. Their mission is to inspire character growth and excellence through the three C's – Character, Courage and Commitment. They develop leaders who recognize that the challenges they tackle on the hill can transfer to what life throws at them off the hill.

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail believes that no one should be restricted from participating in SSCV programs for financial reasons. Thirty percent of sales at the swap go to the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail's annual fund, which helps provide financial support for students, and the other 70 percent goes to the seller.

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The Swap is their longest-running fundraiser, dating back 47 years. It's grown in size from its early days. Besides gently used gear and outerwear, vendors are hand with new items. Skis, boards, boots and bindings plus all the accessories have been brought in from Arizona, California, Idaho as well as Colorado.

Whether you are looking for a whole new set up of equipment, want to get into a new sport at a discount, or just need that extra pair of goggles around in case you lose them, make sure you head out to the swap this weekend. For best selection and sizes, go early, but discounts will be made throughout the weekend, so Sunday will have the best deals.