On the hill: Ski swap! | AspenTimes.com

On the hill: Ski swap!

Daniel Boccia
Snowmass Village correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Now entering its 53rd year, the Aspen Ski Swap was originally conceived to offer residents an affordable way to partake in the expensive sport of skiing. Over the years, the swap has continued to feed locals’ passion for outdoor pursuits by providing a market for bargains on an abundance of secondhand gear and thereby increasing accessibility to snowsports.

The swap will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in the Aspen High School gymnasium. In the past, the event has taken place at the middle school gym, but the larger space of the new venue will allow for convenient, one-stop shopping with loads of hard and soft goods displayed in one place.

“It’s huge. [We usually have] in the thousands of items. We have clothing, alpine, nordic and snowboard gear along with any other winter sports items like skates, snowshoes and sleds. Anything but T-shirts,” said Helene Gude, a longtime volunteer and member of the Aspen Ski Swap Committee. Last year’s brand-new items will also be included in the gear for sale.

Since the swap’s inception, event organizers have added a new way to promote outdoor recreation in the area. By donating proceeds to the Aspen School District, the Swap Committee helps pass down an important legacy to the community’s youth.

“We use the proceeds to fund the Outdoor Education program. Each grade level has a trip that they go on. Outdoor Ed is a big deal and important to the community,” said Steve Nelson, Aspen Middle School’s vice principal.

By taking a 20 percent commission on all sales, the event has in the past resulted in net donations in the $20,000 range. The event is planned and staffed entirely by volunteers.

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“It’s amazing what you can do in one day. It’s so interesting how community comes together,” Nelson said.

Drop-off for items will take place at the gym from 4:30-6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. All unsold items should be picked up Saturday after the swap. Leftover items will be donated to charity.