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Ski swap starts tonight

Matt Zalaznick/City Editor
Daily file photoThe annual - and massive - Dobson Arena ski swap starts tonight at 7 p.m. and continues all day Saturday. A share of the proceeds go to support the racing programs at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
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So, did you replace those ski poles you busted on closing day last season? Did you get that new pair of gloves or snowboard boots? Is it time finally indulge and buy yourself a top-of-the-line pair of skis?Well, this weekend a Vail institution returns to help make sure every skier and snowboarder is fully equipped by the time the snow starts falling and the local lifts start running. Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s 34th annual ski-swap returns to Dobson Arena tonight and Saturday, and the bare floor of the ice rink will be crammed with racks, tables and piles of gear when the doors open for early-bird shoppers today at 7 p.m.”It’s the tradition that gets everyone thinking about the upcoming ski and snowboard season,” says Aldo Radamus, director of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. “It’s a great opportunity for families and locals to pick up great equipment at rock-bottom prices.”Dobson Arena will be filled with upwards of 20,000 pieces of skiing and snowboarding equipment.”We intended to buy nothing,” said one shopper at a past swap. “But you always find something, and it helps a good cause. Racing is an expensive sport and doesn’t get much funding.””I was planning to spend $200 but now I’m spending $400,” another past shopper said.The swap may get a boost because it opens on Halloween night – and there’s also snow in the forecast tonight.”We’re looking forward to a huge swap,” he says. “Historically, the hugest swap ever was when we held it on Halloween night.”The equipment ranges from brand new gear from local and regional ski shops to more “vintage” items that may have been aging in local garages and storage sheds.”There’s so much stuff, there’s gems left until the doors close on Saturday,” Radamus says.A percentage of the proceeds is to support Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s racing programs. The swap is the club’s biggest fund-raiser of the year.”It helps keep the programs affordable for the kids,” Radamus says.The club is involved with racing, from 5-year-olds to “masters” competitions where the skiers and snowboarders are aged 80 and older.”The swap is one of the first and one of the largest in the country,” Radamus says.Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.AT A GLANCESki and Snowboard Club Vail’s 34th annual ski swap is at Dobson Arena this weekend:Friday: Early bird shopping, 7 p.m. until midnight; $15, adults, $7, kids, 5 & under, free.Saturday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., $5 all agesSunday: Vendors pick up unsold equipment


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