Labor Day 2023 ski sales are coming — including Powder Daze mini expo

It’s been a while since Labor Day ski sales were defined by a spirited three-way competition between Sniagrab at Sports Authority, Ski Rex at Colorado Ski & Golf, and Powder Daze at Christy Sports. That’s because Vail Resorts bought Colorado Ski & Golf in 2010 and renamed it Epic Mountain Gear, while Sports Authority went bankrupt and closed in 2016.

Then came the demise of the Denver Ski Expo, last held in 2019, which had been an annual November event at the Colorado Convention Center. That left a void that has been offset in recent years by Christy’s expanding Powder Daze brand, which has evolved over 13 years from a ski clearance sale into a mini-expo of sorts. Christy still honors the Labor Day ski sales heritage, but with an imperative to broaden the concept and make it an event.

“We take a strong responsibility to make sure the legacy maintains but continues to evolve, that it doesn’t die on the vine as something that’s not addressing the needs of consumers today,” said Randy England, Christy’s director of brand marketing.

When Powder Daze begins Friday at the Christy Sports Event Center in Littleton, and at three other Colorado locations, it will have the usual “carryover” inventory of last year’s skis, snowboards, boots and apparel discounted at up to 60% off last year’s prices. That’s the original concept that made Labor Day ski sales a Colorado tradition since Gart Sports invented the idea with Sniagrab (bargains spelled backward) in 1954.

But there will be much more as well.

Wyoming-based Teton Gravity Research will be there with its Stokemobile, playing videos from TGR ski films on flat screens with visual reality headsets for kids and a pop-up retail outlet.

SOS Outreach, a non-profit that helps underprivileged kids get into skiing and other outdoor pursuits, will have a presence. To support them, Christy will be selling two dozen pairs of unused Nordica skis at $1,000 a pop, with all of the proceeds going to SOS. Customers will be encouraged to drop off “lightly used” soft goods to help outfit SOS kids.

Protect Our Winters, a non-profit that lobbies for legislation to fight climate change, will be there to spread its message. There will be a “ladies’ night” on Aug. 30, sponsored by Kari Traa, a women’s apparel brand founded by a three-time Olympic medalist from Norway. The ladies’ night is free, but organizers are asking for $10 donations to benefit SheJumps, a non-profit that works to increase female participation in outdoor sports. There will be a family night on Aug. 31, with giveaways.

Colorado Ski Country USA will be there to promote its Ski Passport program for kids in third to sixth grade. Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Monarch and Ikon will be selling passes. There will even be food trucks.

“What we’re doing is looking to evolve this into a season kickoff, not necessarily just a carryover sale,” England said last week while providing a tour of the Littleton store as workers unpacked boxes and set out inventory. “That is not to say it’s not important to us to bring 60 stores worth of carryover product here and say, ‘Hey, there are great deals to be had.’

“But if you want to get in on some of the new technology coming into the market this year, and you want to get it early, great. If you want to get it coupled with 25 boot-fit stations, with expert boot fitters from 60 stores and five states who are coming here to work, you can do that,” he added.

Powder Daze begins Friday and runs through Labor Day at four of Christy’s 46 Colorado locations: the Littleton Event Center, which is located across the street from Southwest Plaza, along with stores in Dillon, West Vail and the new Steamboat store, at the base of Mount Werner. The Littleton location is a huge, 30,000-square-foot space that used to be a Stein Mart store.

Rival Epic Mountain Gear will be holding its Labor Day sale, called The Big Drop, from Sept. 1-10. It, too, is promising discounts of up to 60% off on carryover ski and snowboard gear, as well as bikes, bike parts and accessories. The Big Drop will happen at seven Epic Mountain Gear locations in Westminster, Aurora, Boulder, Littleton, Park Meadows, Colorado Springs and Frisco. Epic Passes will not be sold at Big Drop events.

At the Powder Daze Littleton location, Christy Kids Bundles will be sold. Those are packages by which parents can get their kids season gear rentals bundled with junior season passes good at Loveland ($289) and Monarch ($343). Those deals also will be offered after Powder Daze, but parents will have to purchase the bundles at a Christy Sports location and take proof of purchase to the resort later to receive the season pass. Because Loveland and Monarch will be at the Littleton store during Powder Daze, they can get their season passes there.

Numerous pass deals will be offered at Powder Daze. Unrestricted four-packs for Loveland will be priced at $259. Arapahoe Basin will be selling three-day Value Packs for $149, which will jump to $229 after Powder Daze. Monarch will be selling four-packs for $249.

Another deal for budget-conscious skiers to consider: Christy will be selling used demo skis, with bindings, for $300 to $500.

“There’s a stoke factor here,” England said. “I love this event as a skier, because we spend 13 days living, breathing and talking ski and snowboard. People are fired up, and it’s 100 degrees outside.”

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.

Source: Read Full Article