Swap till you drop: Vail Ski and Snowboard Swap starts Friday at Dobson Ice Arena
Public drop-off is Thursday for 52nd annual event
Vail still offers an autumn opportunity to turn used gear into cash via the ski swap. If you can make it to Dobson Ice Arena in Vail between noon and 5 p.m. on Thursday, you’ll have an opportunity to sell your old equipment.
The swap will take place at Dobson Ice Arena from 3-9 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are free, but need to be reserved at eventbrite or vailskiswap.com.
The Vail Ski and Snowboard Swap has a long history going back to the 1960s as a fundraiser for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. On a good year, the event could raise a six-figure sum for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s annual fund, money that is used to reduce program costs for families in the club.
During the 2020 pandemic, however, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail decided to cancel the swap due to indoor capacity restrictions, which would have been exceeded under the club’s multi-vendor model.
Ski Pro, one of the vendors out of Arizona, offered a solution, and the ski swap was held in 2020 for the 51st year.
“Ski pro stepped in and took care of all the gear, all the permits and requirements, and worked with (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) to do as much marketing as we could to let people know we were going to have a safe environment,” said Tom Tanner, marketing director at Ski Pro.
“We did quite well, a lot of people enjoyed us being there, so we’re going to do it again this year,” Tanner said.
Tanner said Ski Pro donated a portion of the proceeds to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, a sum “significantly in the five digits,” he said.
“We not rolling in there as a store and just taking 100% profit,” he said.
Tanner said Ski Pro had been coming to the Vail area as a vendor since the 1990s.
“We’ve been going to the Vail area for a long time, and as we’ve done that, many vendors just haven’t been able to get the supply, and they’re not able to bring enough gear, so a lot of people just fizzled out, and we’ve stayed strong and been able to have a lot of buying power to bring a lot of gear,” he said.
As far as the current arrangement, “for the foreseeable future, we’ll continue, as long as Vail wants us there,” Tanner said.
The swapping part of the event comes with the service offered in providing a venue for the community to sell gear as well as purchase it.
That service will still be offered, but the window to drop off gear is short, and only exists in one location via Dobson Ice Arena. Drop-off is from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday, and all unsold equipment must be picked up on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. from the same place.
For new gear, the Ski Pro store will bring in three semi trucks filled with unused equipment from previous seasons, where it will be sold at discount. In addition to skis and snowboards, Ski Pro will provide winter clothing and accessories.
“It’s all high-end gear,” Tanner said. “We’re not going to have 2021-22 equipment there, but we’ll have last season’s gear marked down quite a bit.”