Ski Swap for ski club gets under way today

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— The doors will open on one of the biggest ski sales of the season at 8 p.m. tonight at the Steamboat Springs Middle School.
The first customers to cross the threshold of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Ski and Sport Swap will be required to pay $10 per family or individual for the right to enter the building, which is located at 5100 Amethyst Drive.
The shoppers will be rewarded with the first shot at the hot sale items. Friday's opening session will run until 9 p.m.
The sale will continue on Saturday. However, the admission will be free that day. In the past, hundreds of eager buyers have flooded the annual fund-raising event focused on picking up key items for the upcoming ski season. The Saturday sale runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"Anyone can get into the event early, but they have to pay $10," said Katy Hosmer, the Winter Sports Club's director of development and special events.
But she was quick to add that the admission fee will directly benefit the athletes who train and ski for the Winter Sports Club.
The small investment might also benefit the shopper hoping to cash in on cheap ski equipment and apparel.
"We are hoping to help raise some more money for the Winter Sports Club with the early shopping deal," Hosmer said. "We've done it in the past, but this is the first time we have done it (opened it to the general public) in this way."
Folks who want to drop off items for consignment and check-in can do that today from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Middle School.
The sale will also feature ski equipment and clothing from retailers such as the One Stop Ski Shop, Powder Pursuits, Alpaca Imports, Use It Again Sports, Surefoot, Ski Barn, Monte Sport, Fiasco Sportswear, Leaping Lizard, Mammoth Sporting Goods, Winterkids, Vagneur Sport, MH Sports and Sunrise Ski Co.
Hosmer said members of the community wishing to sell items can donate them to the Winter Sports Club and give 100 percent of the proceeds to support the group or they can enter an agreement in which the seller can receive 80 percent of the sale price. The Winter Sports Club retains the other 20 percent for its part.
Last year, the Winter Sports Club collected $15,000 from the sale, which was used to fund programs, cover club expenses and help reduce the cost of programs for its athletes during the season.
During the final hours of the sale, from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, the organizers will slash 50 percent off the price of selected merchandise.
"Ultimately, we want to offer everyone the opportunity to get a good deals on sporting goods. We also want to help support our local athletes," Hosmer said.
For the first time this year the sale will be opened to include all kinds of sporting equipment, including both summer and winter activities. Hosmer said sellers can bring bikes, kayaks, skis and any other type of sports related item for sale.

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail jrussell@amigo.net

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