GARDEN CITY, Idaho — Nothing says ski season is almost here like the ski swap, this garage sale type event allows people to buy and sell used equipment as they gear up to hit the slopes this winter.
Setting up for 71st ski swap at Expo Idaho takes a lot of work as volunteers build shelves and stock them with everything people need before the swap opens on Friday.
"It’s the largest in the Pacific Northwest," said Shawn Smith who runs the Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation. "We have everything for people here to kick off their season boards, boots, gloves, hats, helmets, if we don’t have it, you don’t need it."
The ski swap runs from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. People can bring in their used equipment on Friday and Saturday mornings with noon being the deadline on Saturday.
"It’s a lot of people and a lot of gear," said Nick Sabin, U-14 head coach. "Every year it seems to be getting bigger and bigger."
It's the largest fundraiser of the year for the Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation as 25 percent of every sale will go to this non-profit that has been helping children compete in alpine racing, all mountain skiing and snowboarding competitions since 1967. The rest of the money will be mailed to people when their items sell.
"It’s awesome, I’ve been coaching since I was 13," said Smith. "This is what I do for a living so I’m getting the hang of it and I really love it, this is one of the best jobs in the world."
The BBSEF filled every slot on every team this year. The money raised goes to paying coaches salaries, making sure youth have the right equipment and helps keep down the cost for families who have their kids compete in winter sports.
The ski swap also helps families buy and sell gear as their children grow, and the best tip I can give people is to show up early to have a chance at the best deals in this longtime Treasure Valley tradition.
"I remember growing up we would come to the ski swap every year and say alright what do we need that we have grown out of? And the stuff we grew out of we brought it back and sold it the next year," said Sabin. "So there is stuff that has been cycled through multiple families and it is great to see new families find great deals."
Admission costs five dollars, but people can get in free on Sunday if they bring a canned food donation. Sellers will need to pickup unsold equipment by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.