50 lucky kids will win a $50 gift certificate to commemorate 50 years

VAIL, Colo. – In the fall of 1969, a handful of creative locals hosted a fun and convenient event, a pre-winter gathering of sorts, in which the Vail community could come together and exchange ski equipment ahead of the upcoming season. The Vail Ski Swap, which since its inception has benefited Ski (& Snowboard) Club Vail, has steadily grown into one of the biggest ski and snowboard sales in the country.

With the Vail Ski Swap returning for its 50th anniversary to Dobson Ice Arena on Oct. 25-27, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV), with the support of Alpine Bank, has announced a Golden Ticket giveaway benefiting 50 lucky kids. The Willy Wonka-inspired giveaway harkens back to the 1960s children’s novel and later film starring Gene Wilder.

The rules are simple: Beginning Sept. 20 through Oct. 21, any school-aged youngster up through high school can log on to www.VailSkiSwap.com and fill out an online form to enter the contest. Participants must be an enrolled student in any Colorado-based grade school, middle school or high school and will need to provide basic and verifiable information about themselves and their parents. One entry per child. (Multiple entries will be disqualified.)

At random, 50 young people will be selected to receive a $50 Alpine Bank Golden Ticket, which can be applied to any purchase of youth ski and snowboard equipment at the swap.

Participants may show up in person Friday or Saturday to see if they have won. At least one parent or guardian will need to be present, as well. Any unclaimed Golden Tickets will be given away at random on Sunday.

“We really wanted to do something special for the 50th anniversary of the Ski Swap,” said Geoff Mintz, communications manager for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. “Our motto at SSCV is, ‘For the Kids,’ so it was important that we make the golden anniversary of the Vail Ski Swap a really fun event for young skiers and snowboards in the Vail Valley and around Colorado.”

A swap for all ages

Definitely not just for kids, the Vail Ski Swap features products from across all snowsport disciplines: alpine, snowboard, telemark, backcountry and Nordic. The Swap also presents an array of new soft goods and accessories, such as jackets, pants, helmets, gloves and goggles, as compiled by vendors from around the region.

“The Swap really goes beyond the exchange and purchasing of equipment,” said SSCV Events Director Euginnia Seyferth. “It’s a great kickoff to the winter season. When you see the excitement on a kid’s face who just snagged a pair of skis or boots, it’s a really fun atmosphere and it gets you super pumped for the season.”

The Swap is worth visiting throughout the weekend, but Friday night is the best time to get first dibs on new and used gear at the venue. The event kicks off Friday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m., and there is a $15 admission fee for adults and teenagers for the first two hours. Kids 12 and under are free. At 7 p.m. on Friday, the fee drops to $5. Shoppers can also get $5 off your admission with a student ID. The venue will close at 10 p.m.

There are no admission fees for the remainder of the weekend. The Swap will be open for business from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27. All sales are final.

Want to sell your gear?

Simply bring your new or used equipment to either of our drop-off locations prior to the swap. If it sells, SSCV will take a 25 percent commission and return the remaining profits to the seller by mail. It’s that easy and it sure beats letting equipment collect dust.

This year’s drop-off locations are as follows:

  • Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elk Parking Lot, Avon
  • Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brush Creek Elementary, Eagle
  • Thursday, Oct. 24 from noon to 7 p.m. at Dobson Ice Arena, Vail

At the drop-off locations, SSCV will have volunteers on hand to help with any pricing or other questions about the selling process.


While the Swap accepts almost anything in terms of used ski and snowboard equipment, there are a handful of items that will be turned away: unmounted bindings, heavily used boots, used hats, helmets, gloves, goggles, baselayers, or other accessory items. All of these items can be purchased new at the Swap.

Sellers should check the status of their items by using tag numbers and visiting vailskiswap.com. Unsold equipment must be picked up at Dobson Ice Arena on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 3 to 5 p.m. The Swap cannot keep equipment after 5 p.m. on Sunday. Do not assume your item has sold if you can’t find your item. Check the status of your items online.

About Ski & Snowboard Club Vail: ​Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, the valley’s oldest nonprofit organization, was founded in 1962 to provide training and competition programs for aspiring young athletes and has continued to evolve since its inception, branching out into five program disciplines: alpine, freeskiing, mogul, snowboard, and Nordic. A percentage of sales from the Swap benefit the club, helping the organization fulfill its mission to inspire character growth and excellence in young athletes throughout the Vail community.