One swap shopping: Vail Ski Swap rings in its 50th anniversary this weekend |

One swap shopping: Vail Ski Swap rings in its 50th anniversary this weekend

Proceeds from annual event at Dobson Ice Arena benefits Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

Dobson Ice Arena will once again turn into a giant sales warehouse of ski and snowboard gear when the annual Vail Ski Swap returns Friday through Sunday
Chris Dillmann |

Snow is on the ground, and it’s time to fill up your bag with goodies.

No, not Halloween — it’s Ski Swap time in the Vail Valley.

The Vail Ski Swap is returning for its 50th anniversary this weekend, starting Friday evening and running through Sunday, at Dobson Ice Arena in Lionshead. The final opportunity to sell your gear is Thursday from noon to 7 p.m.

A Vail tradition since 1969, the swap features products from across all snowsport disciplines: alpine, snowboard, telemark, backcountry and Nordic. The event presents an array of new soft goods and accessories, such as jackets, pants, helmets, gloves and goggles, as compiled by vendors from around the region.

“The swap really goes beyond the exchange and purchasing of equipment,” said SSCV Events Director Euginnia Seyferth in a press release. “It’s a great kickoff to the winter season. When you see the excitement on a kid’s face who just snagged a pair of skis or boots, it’s a really fun atmosphere and it gets you super pumped for the season.”

Get there early

The swap is worth visiting throughout the weekend, but Friday night is the best time to get first dibs on new and used gear at the venue. The event kicks off Friday at 5 p.m., and there is a $15 admission fee for adults and teenagers for the first two hours. Kids 12 and under are free. At 7 p.m. on Friday, the fee drops to $5. Shoppers can also get $5 off your admission with a student ID. The venue will close at 10 p.m.

There are no admission fees for the remainder of the weekend. The swap will be open for business from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. All sales are final.

Want to sell your gear?

Simply bring your new or used equipment to either of our drop-off locations prior to the swap. If it sells, SSCV will take a 25 percent commission and return the remaining profits to the seller by mail. It’s that easy and it sure beats letting equipment collect dust. The final drop-off date for this year’s swap is Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail.

At the drop-off date, SSCV will have volunteers on hand to help with any pricing or other questions about the selling process.

While the swap accepts almost anything in terms of used ski and snowboard equipment, there are a handful of items that will be turned away: unmounted bindings, heavily used boots, used hats, helmets, gloves, goggles, baselayers, or other accessory items. All of these items can be purchased new at the swap.

Sellers should check the status of their items by using tag numbers and visiting Unsold equipment must be picked up at Dobson Ice Arena on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. The swap cannot keep equipment after 5 p.m. on Sunday. Do not assume your item has sold if you can’t find your item. Check the status of your items online. 

Golden ticket giveaway

In recognition of the 50 anniversary of the Swap, SSCV, with the support of Alpine Bank, is giving away 50 golden tickets worth $50 to 50 lucky kids. Entry into the golden ticket giveaway has been extended through Wednesday.

The rules are simple: Any school-aged youngster up through high school can log on to and fill out an online form to enter the contest. Participants must be an enrolled student in any Colorado-based grade school, middle school or high school and will need to provide basic and verifiable information about themselves and their parents. One entry per child. (Multiple entries will be disqualified.)

At random, 50 young people will be selected to receive a $50 Alpine Bank golden ticket, which can be applied to any purchase of youth ski and snowboard equipment at the swap.

Participants may show up in person Friday or Saturday to see if they have won. At least one parent or guardian will need to be present, as well. Any unclaimed golden tickets will be given away at random on Sunday.

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