Annual Winter Sports Club Ski Swap offers winter gems
Steamboat Springs — A sure sign of the season to come, the annual treasure hunt known as the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Ski and Sport Swap takes place today and Saturday at Steamboat Springs Middle School.
One never knows what ski and snowboarding gems to expect at the Ski Swap. Along with ancient Kneissl White Stars mounted with Salomon Equipe 555 bindings, you might stumble on a castoff World Cup racing suit. It has happened before.
But the merchandise goes well beyond typical garage sale items.
“There are probably a dozen vendors coming to sell new and used equipment, both hard goods and soft goods,” Winter Sports Club Athletics Director Sarah Floyd said.
The ski swap is a fundraiser for the Winter Sports Club, which takes a 30 percent fee on consignment sales. Out of town commercial vendors pay 18 percent and local vendors pay 13 percent. Last year’s event raised about $32,000 for the club, Floyd said.
Early bird shoppers will pay $5 tonight to enter the sale at 8 p.m. and get the pick of the choicest merchandise. The public is welcome at no charge all day Saturday.
Winter Sports Club staffer Ann Dixson said any kind of children’s winter sports gear or clothing constitutes the best sellers.
“A lot of kids grow really fast and their new gear shows up a year or two later at the swap,” Dixson said.
Nordic skiing equipment also goes fast, she said. And many veteran ski swap shoppers are very systematic in the way they target bargains, Dixson added.
Consignment sellers are welcome to pick up unsold merchandise between 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday, or they may choose to abandon it. But that doesn’t mean it automatically goes in a giant dumpster.
“We didn’t throw out any skis last year,” Dixson said.
At 5 p.m. Saturday, Winter Sports Club coaches comb through the merchandise for skis, boots and helmets that might help one of their youngsters stay in the sport.
After that, good clothing finds its way to LIFT-UP of Routt County. And there are a variety of uses for unwanted skis. Some go to the ski tuning classes at Colorado Mountain College. Others get snapped up by freestyle skiers using the water ramp in the summer – skis can only survive so many dunkings before they are unusable, creating a need for “rock skis” at the ramp.
Unsold ski boots even get snapped up by teachers for use in art projects, Dixson said.
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