You might as well start getting ready for Labor Day, the unofficial kickoff of the 2013-2014 ski season. Labor Day weekend is when you can get amazing deals on skis, snowboards, winter clothing and accessories.
We’ll give you as much as a scoop as possible on all the sales and events that precede the official opening of ski season, which is usually in October and almost always at either Loveland or Arapahoe Basin, but here’s a preview of SKI REX…
SKI REX will be held at the four Colorado Ski & Golf locations, Boulder Ski Deals, and Colorado Ski & Sports in Park Meadows where you can expect 30 to 75 percent off regular prices. In addition to overstocked and specially purchased inventory from last season, you can also pick up the latest gear and models for the 2013-14 season at pre-season prices.
The good people at Colorado Ski & Golf have put together the following handy shopping guide…
· Do some pre-shopping research online to get information and reviews on the items you are considering, keeping in mind your individual needs and ability levels
· Know what equipment or clothing you are looking for and head for those sections first to get first dibs on the best selection and pricing on models and sizes
· The Ski & Golf staff gets support from industry manufacturing representatives during the sale and both staff members and reps are avid skiers and riders and can provide useful advice on matching you to the gear that is best for you and your intended terrain and usage, so hunt them down and ask questions
· Come later in the day. The crowds usually subside by early afternoon leaving plenty of equipment to choose from but lots more room for browsing and staff availability for questions and guidance
· Try it on. This is especially true for boots but also applies to clothing. Bring a pair of ski socks to get a real fit and take advantage of free boot fitting service and three-time guarantee to get the right boots with the right fit
· Even if you have your heart set on a certain board, boots, or skis, if your size isn’t available, talk to a rep and find out if a very similar style or model would work as well, or better, for you
· For boot purchases, focus on fit, not color or style. A great fit trumps fashion considerations when it comes to boots. A bad fit makes for disappointing on slope performance and enjoyment
· Your shopping list may have only one or two items but after pinning down those essential purchases, keep a sharp eye out for deep discounts on things that need replacing or upgrading like gloves, helmets, eye protection, and fleece jackets and get them now when the discounts are deepest
The Aurora Colorado Ski & Golf store under the big tent is the highest concentration of goods, but sale items and prices are available at all locations beginning Saturday, Aug. 31 and continuing through Sunday, Sept. 15. Epic passes for Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin will also be on sale at all store locations.
Hours are Saturday, Aug. 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Labor Day Monday, Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sale prices remain in effect through Sunday, Sept. 15 at: 2650 S. Havana, Aurora; 7715 Wadsworth, Arvada; 8100 W. Crestline, Littleton; 2454 Montebello Square Drive, Colorado Springs; 8691 Park Meadows Center Drive, Lone Tree; and Boulder Ski Deals, 2525 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder.
You’ll find discounts starting at 40 percent on alpine skis from Volkl, Rossignol and other top vendors. For boarders, the Ride Canvas and Antic snowboards are up to 55 percent off retail. A wide selection of outerwear based on special purchases and closeouts from Ride, Obermeyer, Salomon, Burton and The North Face will also qualify as best deals, according to Colorado Ski & Golf.
Junior Trade In, the 26-year old budget-friendly equipment exchange program for kids ages 4-18, is also available during SKI REX. A complete set of used equipment including skis, boots, bindings and a safety binding check is $99.99 for the entire season.
Equipment can be returned the following year at the end of the 2014 season and parents can refit their kids into a different set of used equipment for the next season. The net cost per child after the first year is $49.99.
The Junior Trade-In is also available on new equipment starting at $199.99. Equipment returned by March 31 gets a 50 percent discount on next year’s equipment, $99.99/year after the first year. Junior Trade In is also available for snowboarders with a slightly higher rate for used equipment, $109.99 for a full snowboard setup that includes boots and deck. New gear starts at $199.99.
All SKI REX stores are also offering onsite ski and snowboard recycling for skiers and riders to drop off unwanted skis, snowboards, cross-country skis, boots, poles and bindings. Equipment in good condition is donated to charitable domestic programs. Equipment that isn’t safe or usable is transported to a recycling facility. A small fee is added to the purchase of new adult skis, snowboards and boots to help defray the costs.
For more info go to www.coloradoskiandgolf.com.