Gently used ski equipment attracts big crowds

Many skis and boots got new owners at The Calgary New and Used Ski Sale held at the Max Bell Centre on Oct 21.

Over the weekend, over 300 volunteers helped to staff the sale of over 12,000 items in stock.

In its 54th year, the sale marks the unofficial start of the ski season in Southern Alberta.

The sale began as a few parents swapping gear in a basement, and has now evolved to be the largest ski sale in Canada.

“On Thursday evening (Oct.20), we were pretty sure it was going to be a great year when we took in more consignment items than we ever had,” said Kelly Morrison, the project’s communications lead.

“On Saturday we surpassed our previous attendance record and we still had a day to go.”

Despite Alberta’s economic downturn, people arrived by the hundreds in search of their new or gently used ski equipment for the season.

“We have been able to increase sales in a tough economy, which I think speaks volumes to the commitment of our volunteers and customers,” said Morrison.

“We worked hard to bring a bigger selection to buyers.”

All profits generated by The Calgary New and Used Ski Sale goes to three non-profits that make the event possible.

The Calgary Ski Club, Lake Louise Ski Club and the Canadian Ski patrol – Calgary Zone all share in the returns of the ski sale.

“The Calgary New and Used Ski Sale is put on entirely for the purpose of supporting the three non-profits,” said Morrison.

“We only have volunteers and expenses are kept to a minimum by committees headed by representatives from the three organizations.”

The sale is open to everyone in the city, and people are encouraged to consign their gently used equipment if they are looking for a place to get rid of some gear.

Shane Sullivan is an avid skier and has been attending the sale for three years.

“When I got to the age where I had to start buying my own ski gear, I realized how expensive it actually is,” said Sullivan.

“I started looking for cheaper alternatives to buying new, especially as a student. The sale at the Max Bell center is a really good alternative for me, since I can still find great skis, but don’t have to empty my bank account.”

The sale at the Max Bell center is a really good alternative for me, since I can still find great skis, but not have to empty my bank account. – Shane Sullivan

The Calgary New and Used Ski Sale will return next year in October 2017.

“Our customers are always excited to come in and see what we have every year,” said Morrison.

“The Calgary New and Used Ski Sale has Calgary’s best prices and best selection. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?”

About William Bewcyk 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, William Bewcyk is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2016-17 academic year.