Ski Swap Format Changes Well Received
Prince George, B.C. – The annual cross-country ski swap to benefit the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club Racers rolled out a brand new look Saturday at the Otway Nordic Centre.
Organizer Sally Connon says ski swap is about two things. “First and foremost,” she says “it’s about getting used gear into hands and onto feet that are going to be able to use it and give that gear a second life. We wanted to make sure that young families, especially young families just starting out, have access to economically-priced gear. So we’ve got that both in the used gear that’s being turned over and also some phenomenal deals given by Cycle Logic, NR Motors and Stride N Glide. So it’s all about making it cheaper for people to get into the sport.”
“The second thing is that this is a fundraiser for our race team. It’s extremely expensive to was cross-country skis so this is helping to cover that, and we also have amazing professional coaches that we take to competitions and this helps to fund travel, lodging and stuff like that.”
Connon says “so what we do here is anybody that wants to sell gear pays $20 to sell it, whether its miscellaneous (sporting or recreational) gear or ski gear. So that’s the fundraiser and then businesses that come also pay a bigger fee to put out their shingle and sell their (new) gear as well.”
She also says a new format was adopted for the ski swap this year and it seems to have proven successful. “Historically, people would drop their gear off the night before, stand in a line-up, drop it off. Next day people would line up to come in and buy it and what we found was the first handful of people got good gear and those who were later on down the line-up really didn’t get much of anything. And then they’d come back and stand in line to gather up their cheque if they sold it or take back the gear that wasn’t sold.”
“So now it’s a little different format (with a day-long swap and several vendor tables), much more sociable so people sell their own gear, which seems to be really well-received, and then this other part to the format with new gear being sold as well.”
The CNSC also had knowledgeable people on hand (pictured below) to help newcomers to cross-country skiing with things like sizing and selection of equipment.
“So it’s a changed format,” says Connon “and we’ve got lots of really interested businesses who want to come in next year but it was just to tight for them to get their inventory here and all that sort of stuff so we’re really excited. These are people who support the sport all year, so its really exciting for us to have them out here and be able to showcase them whether it’s new stuff that they’re selling or blowing out old inventory.”
Connon says there will be more advance advertising next year “so that these people who are selling miscellaneous sports equipment can move more of their gear, because there’s been some awesome deals on everything from skates to downhill boots, toboggans, roller skates, all sorts of things being sold.”
“I think people have seen it this year, next year we get the word out a little earlier and hopefully more vendors, which will help build it that way as well.”
And, with a big chuckle, she concludes “it’s been fun!”