Founder has high hopes for new gear swap
In his time living in Park City, Patrick Fannon, owner of outdoor gear consignment store Switchback Sports, has noticed an interesting fact about many residents: The sports they love aren’t cheap.
"Somehow we always pick the most expensive sports to pursue," he said. "Whether it’s skiing, or mountain biking, or lacrosse or hockey, where the costs associated with the sport are hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars."
That is one reason Fannon is starting a new gear swap he hopes becomes an annual event. The swap will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Switchback Sports, 1685 Bonanza Drive.
"It’s a great mechanism for people to get access to gear at a reasonable price," Fannon said.
Fannon views the swap as an alternative to the Park City Ski Team ski swap held annually at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse, which has become one of the most popular ski swaps in the country. While he acknowledges there are deals to be had there, he says navigating the sheer amount of equipment can be daunting, particularly for those who are new to a sport.
The Switchback Sports gear swap will be much smaller, something he views as a positive.
"What I want to do is have a swap that’s organized just for locals, who live in this community," Fannon said. "It’s not overwhelming, from a, ‘There’s just literally 10s of thousands of things to look for and pick through. … "This shop is 3,000 square-feet. It’s not 10,000."
Additionally, Fannon’s swap will include any type of outdoor gear people want to sell, not just snow sports equipment.
"It’s meant to be something for all seasons," he said. "It’s equipment given by the community for the community."
Switchback Sports is currently accepting gear for the swap. Sellers get an 80-percent cut of the profit for all items, with 20 percent going to the cost of operating and staffing the event, Fannon said.
"Everyone has a lot of stuff in their garage," he said. "Get it out, and maybe you can make a lot of money."
Fannon is eager to see what kind of turnout the swap brings. He has his sights set high, hoping that it will become an event people want to participate in every year.
"It’s the first one, so we’ll see how it goes," he said. "But the hope is it will be an event we do every year in the fall. As word gets spread and people have a positive experience, hopefully it grows organically year after year.
"But it can only grow so big, because the intent is to keep it within the community."
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