Attention ski shoppers: The swap is here
November is just around the corner, there’s a chill in the air and a light dusting of snow on the mountains, which could only mean one thing its time for the Park City Ski Swap and Sale.
Now in its 34th year, the annual event which serves as the largest fundraiser for the Park City Ski Team has become one of the biggest swaps in the West. According to Park City Ski Team Program Director Dave Galusha, the swap finishes second only to Boise in number of attendees and amount of equipment sold. He expects between 5,000 and 7,000 attendees to peruse the swap, which will take place once again at Park City High School. Although the school is undergoing some updating, Galusha says that the only hassle will be parking, which volunteers can hopefully divert somewhat.
The popularity of the Park City swap is due to a number of things, Galusha says. There are few towns that boast three top-ranked ski areas. The swap organizers have made a point of reaching out to residents in the Salt Lake Valley, and the early November timing makes it one of the last swaps in the area and also one of the closest to the impending ski season.
Galusha says a great mix of used and new equipment doesn’t hurt either.
"We have established a formula with vendors and the community participates strongly with used product," Galusha said.
There is also a wide variety of stuff, including soft goods like hats and gloves as well as an array of alpine skis and equipment, snowboards and even Nordic supplies.
The swap and sale will once again take place in both the main and auxiliary gymnasiums, with soft and hard goods being split between the two area.
Perhaps the highlight of the entire event is the late Friday night start. Following a week of equipment check in, the doors open at 9 p.m. on Friday night and stay open until 1 a.m. Galusha says that is the best time to track down that special item, because the best equipment has yet to be picked through. Upwards of 3,000 people attend this part of the sale.
"Eighty percent of the proceeds of the swap are generated on Friday," Galusha said.
Others choose a more leisurely Sunday stroll through the leftovers where items may be drastically marked down and are more affordable for outfitting entire families or groups.
There will be a number of volunteers on hand throughout the sale to help people find specific items or to explain the merits of different equipment. Galusha says that Friday is also the best time to get the most help, as the volunteers are eager and plentiful when the sale first starts.
The ski team has purposely kept admission costs low to keep the swap accessible to everybody in the community.
"We don’t want to keep people from entering, and I guarantee that they will save that money on the purchase of a ski or a pair of gloves," Galusha said.
Friday night shoppers pay $5, and $2 will get people in the door the rest of the weekend. Those that pay the $5 fee on Friday will not need to pay to reenter. Galusha says that way the pressure is off if people want to window shop on Friday, or bring a friend or family member back to test the equipment before purchasing.
H e also encourages people to browse and enjoy the sale as long as they’d like. He promises a lot of gear to look at, vendors to talk with and concessions to keep up the shopping energy.
Gear intended for sale may be checked in at Jans or Cole Sport Monday, Oct. 30 through Thursday, Nov. 2 or between 4 and 8 p.m. at the high school on Friday. Galusha says that no used gear over five years old will be accepted. Volunteers will be available to help price items. He also recommends that if people really want to sell their equipment, then they need to price it to sell. As one of the last swaps of the season, Galusha says that many shoppers will have already looked at gear all over the area.
"People are looking for deals," Galusha said.
The Park City Ski Team takes a 25-percent commission on the sale of any item. As the team’s biggest fundraiser, Galusha says that he is proud that it can also be a service to the community. The event is affordable, the equipment is offered at reasonable prices and it keeps the team and the greater area connected.
"In the environment of fundraising in Park City, only so many people can afford the $250 of the Jans Winter Welcome, but everyone can afford the swap," Galusha said, adding, "And you can participate however you want."
The swap will be held Friday, Nov. 3 from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Admission on Friday night is $5, and $2 on Saturday and Sunday. Kids 12 and under are free. Call 649-8749 for more information. There is no fee per item for sellers, but a 25 percent commission goes to the Park City Ski Team. Gear may be checked in at Jans or Cole Sport Monday, Oct. 30 through Thursday, Nov. 2 or between 4 and 8 p.m. at the high school on Friday.
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