The economic climate may be near freezing, but Park City Ski Team (PCST) director Dave Galusha is hoping that it will warm things up at the 36th annual Ski Swap and Sale at the Basin Recreation Field House Nov. 7-9.
"We do think that is a possibility," Galusha said.
Galusha sees the troubles in the economy affecting the swap in two ways. He figures that this might be the year that many people take a good look at the pair of powder skis they use just three times a year and decide that now might be the time to make a little cash by selling them. He also suspects that many people just won’t be able to justify buying anything brand-new that is over a hundred dollars.
Sales at other swaps in the West and East have reported mixed results this fall. Some have been up and others down, so Galusha is not sure exactly what to expect but he knows that the swap will have plenty of gear at great prices. He is hoping for a little cooperation from Mother Nature as well — he figures some cold weather will help to switch people’s mindsets from golf and hiking to winter sports.
Other factors may also work in the swap’s favor. Many swaps around the state have abandoned sales of snowboarding equipment and accessories, but Galusha proudly says that his swap does not discriminate.
"We do everything," he said.
He’s not kidding. Everything includes not only snowboard gear, but also Nordic equipment, clothing, accessories, ski racks and everything in between. In fact, this year the ski team has even added a new drop-off location at White Pine Touring for sellers with Nordic gear.
Another benefit for budget watchers is the cost of the swap. The admission is the same as last year: $8 on Friday night, $5 on Saturday and $2 on Sunday. The hours will also stay the same with the door-busting Friday night session starting at 8 p.m. and ending at 1 a.m.; Saturday hours will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday hours will go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Even the location is the same with the Field House playing host for the second year in a row.
Galusha warns sellers and buyers to be realistic. A pair of skis that cost $800 new two years ago is not going to sell for $500 at the swap. In that same vein, it may be difficult to find perfect top-of-the-line skis at a rock-bottom prices.
"It’s a completely bargain-basement situation," Galusha said. "Be reasonable."
Volunteers will be on hand to help sellers price their items appropriately as well as help buyers find the ski or snowboard that is right for them.
The swap remains one of the biggest in the country both in inventory and attendance. It’s one of the last of the season, which boosts attendance and, with other swaps dropping their snowboard inventory. it may grow even larger. Galusha estimates that about two-thirds of the gear comes from Park City and the rest from Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. Some items being sold are actually new items brought in by vendors. "new" he means left-over inventory from the past season and demo equipment in practically brand-new condition.
"Its new product at great prices," he said.
There is definitely a method to shopping the swap. Fridays are great for Alpine skiers with their hearts set on finding a certain pair of skis. Saturdays are better for outfitting the entire family with a variety of gear at discount prices. Galusha added that the swap has become so big that there are still some spectacular products left on Saturday for those who don’t want the chaotic atmosphere of the first night.
"Saturday is a much more comfortable shopping experience," he said
Sunday will have the deepest discounts as prices are slashed at the end of the sale.
There are a few restrictions to the swap. Among them: No gear over five years old will be accepted.
The swap is the Park City Ski Team’s largest fundraiser of the year, grossing more than $100,000, a portion of which goes towards scholarships, transportation and operating costs. For each swap item sold, the team will retain a 30-percent commission, although Galusha says that items may be donated as a tax write-off.
Gear may be checked in Nov. 3-Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cole Sport, Jans at Park Avenue, or White Pine for Nordic gear. On Friday, items may be brought to the Field House from 3 to 7 p.m. Unsold gear and checks may be picked up on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Field House. The ski team will retain 30 percent of the proceeds. Children 12 and under are free. Buyers with receipts may return to the swap anytime throughout the weekend for free. Call 649-8749 or visit http://www.parkcityskiteam.org for more information. The Field House is located at 1388 New Main in Kimball Junction. Redstone offers plenty of parking spots within a mile of the Field House.
Bargain lovers can actually make a weekend of scouting swaps. Both Heber and Midway will also offer swaps over the weekend.
Soldier Hollow Ski Sale
The annual Soldier Hollow Pre Winter Ski Sale is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7 and 8, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. The sale is held at the Lodge at Soldier Hollow in Midway. Used cross-country ski packages start at $75 for juniors, including Rossignol skis, boots, bindings and poles. Junior packages with new skis and bindings — either skate or no-wax classic — are priced from $135 to $215. Used adult cross-country ski packages are $189 for classic equipment and $279 for skate gear. Soldier Hollow guarantees all of the products, so buyers may switch gear for another size or get a refund. Atlas snowshoes are also available, with medium and large adult sizes priced at $89 and junior snowshoes at $35. Also on sale are wax, accessories, irons, gloves and hats. All SWIX and TOKO items are 20 to 50 percent off, and make great stocking stuffers. Season passes remain on sale through Nov. 8. Preseason rates range from $50 for juniors to $265 for families (two adults and all children 18 and under). For more information, call (435) 654-2002 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
St. Lawrence Thrift Stores Annual Ski Sale
The St. Lawrence Thrift Stores Annual Ski Sale will be held Nov. 7 from noon to 6 p.m. and Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Park and Recreation Building located at 90 North 100 West in Heber. Drop off donations at the old St. Mary’s Church at 121 Park Avenue in Park City. There are no fees and admission is free. Call (435) 657-0209 for more information.
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.