By Amy Fendley
It’s time for new boots and a board, or is that skis and a new beard?
Whatever the case, its time again for the annual Whistler Mountain Ski Club Ski and Snowboard Swap, which this year has been combined with Whistler/Blackcomb’s Turkey Sale.
This year’s swap takes gets underway tonight (Oct. 9) in an 8,000 square foot tent by the Blackcomb day lodge, where the Turkey Sale is taking place.
The swap is an integral part of the ski club’s fund-raising efforts, with money going to subsidize the cost of junior level ski training and to fund Whistler Mountain Ski Club’s children’s activities. The swap is completely organized and run by 50-75 club volunteers.
Last the year the swap, held at the conference centre, drew a crowd of more than 20,000, but only raised $25,000. The swap’s portion of funds were approximately $5,000 less than the previous year. So this year the club got together with Whistler/Blackcomb and their annual Turkey Sale.
"We’ve had tremendous co-operation from Whistler/Blackcomb on this," said John Cooper of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club. "It’s going to be so different from last year with a different venue and different dynamics, and we hope all goes well."
Cooper says that last year’s set up made it difficult for individual retailers to sell their goods because everything became mixed in amongst a whole lot of gear.
"This year retailers will have a better opportunity to sell their equipment, by each having their own booth," said Cooper. "We’re in a very big tent, in a very prominent location. It’s a good venue for all of Whistler and the people who historically come up from the city to sell their stuff... and we’re expecting to sell a heck of a lot of stuff."
Retail booths in this year’s swap will be limited to local retailers only, including Snow Covers, Wild Willies, Katmandu, Beach or Bust, Helley Hansen and McCoo’s. The tent will be secured overnight from light-hands by Sea to Sky Security.
The swap begins today and runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It continues Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Used equipment is to be checked in today only between noon and 9 p.m.
The Turkey Sale gets underway today at 5 p.m. and runs right through Monday.
"We will look at the amount of inventory and come Monday, will still have a lot of horsepower," said Josh Buchanon of Whistler Blackcomb’s retail division. "In respect to ski quantities we have 1,000 alone in our retail section and we have increased our board inventory."