Annual Ski Swap raises money for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and the price is right |

Annual Ski Swap raises money for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and the price is right

Shoppers browse the deals at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s annual Ski Swap. (Photo by Matt Stensland)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — You know the ski season is imminent when the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s annual Ski Swap sale arrives.

While the snow guns cranked out snow and a snowcat pushed around piles, hundreds of people filed into Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill to shop for some killer deals.

“It’s a start to the season, and as we look out on Howelsen, it looks like we’re getting ready to ski,” said Jeff Modesitt, the director of operations for the Winter Sports Club.

On Friday, people cleaned out their closets and garages to haul their unwanted gear to the annual sale. Some people just donate the gear, and others put it on consignment with the Winter Sports Club getting 35 percent of the proceeds.

“It’s a very good fundraiser for the club,” Modesitt said. “I think the community really likes it. A lot of good deals to be had.” Items for sale included every type of ski imaginable, snowboards, ice skates and even a pair of children’s golf clubs. “Just a great deal if you’re getting into ski racing, and the kids in the club take super good care of their equipment,” Modesitt said.

It is always a good opportunity for parents to support their child’s expensive athletic endeavors.

Kelly Colfer was looking at a colorful, $200 pair of telemark skis for his son Jack. “I don’t need skis quite that stylish, but I think he does,” Colfer said. The price was also right. “The bindings sell for more than that,” Colfer said.

Essi Kenttala was also shopping for her kids. “I never think of anything for myself,” she said. She tried on a brand new Rudy bike helmet that was half priced and took selfies with it. “I think my daughter just has to have it,” Kenttala said.

Derek Hodson, a former Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare manager who now works as a real estate agent, was volunteering and helping as many people as he could as the check-out line stretched down the Olympian Hall stairs. “You could not move in here, but stuff was selling,” Hodson said.

Hodson pointed out some of the vintage and unique items that were for sale. The oldest ski boots he found were a pair of white Salomons from the mid 1990s. There was also a pair of Dynastar slalom skis that he dated to around 1987. Hodson said there were probably hundreds of similar pairs in the attics of Steamboat homes. You would not want to ski on them, but they could be used to make a nice fence. “Totally a collectors item,” Hodson said.

Hodson then pulled a handsome pair of wood-grained skis off the rack. They were a handmade pair made by Steamboat Springs resident Peter Daley, who runs Northland Skis. The craftsmanship is precise, Hodson said, and the $500 price tag reflected that. “It’s like owning a Maserati,” Hodson said.

The skis might have been out of the budget for many people, but there were plenty of other deals to be had. “New skiers can get some great gear, come to Howelsen and ski for free on Sundays and get in the sport at a very low cost,” Hodson said.

Howelsen Hill is scheduled to open Nov. 24.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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