The state's largest ski swap just got a whole lot bigger and easier to deal with for sellers and buyers.
Organizers report that this year's Alaska Ski Swap will for the first time offer more than just gently-used skis and snowboards. Saturday, bargain hunters will enter the West High School gymnasium to find any and all second-hand outdoor gear for winter recreating that Alaskans are willing to sell.
Sledded strollers for pulling toddlers while out trail-skiing.
Skijoring gear for Fido to pull you while out trail-skiing.
"If you have snow kites, we'll take those, too," Kjersti von Wichman, an Alyeska Ski & Snowboarding Club swap organizer, said Thursday as she prepared for the event.
Of course, the club will also continue to accept for sale the gear that has made the swap Alaska's most popular consignment sale. Skis, snowboards, classical Nordic cross-country skiing gear, skate-skiing gear and, yes, apparel too -- provided that it's in good condition and that someone else might find it useful or wearable, von Wichman said.
"Just keep at home your ratty equipment. We'll be checking and that stuff will be rejected," she said.
In years past, the event has been limited in size by the way organizers processed all the consigned gear. Sellers in some cases spent hours waiting to have their gear inventoried by hand by volunteers and organizers.
Those looking to make some cash for their winter gear are this year encouraged to just register online at the swap's new consignment website.
"We're trying to wheel this event into the 21st century. For the first time, sellers won't have to stand in line for hours waiting to sign-up for the consignment. Check-in at home -- please, use the website -- check-in, print tags at home, do everything from home and just bring your gear in" to the swap or the early equipment drop-off site, von Wichman said.
Buyers will also be able to use credit cards thanks to the new system, she added.
The Ski Club hopes its newly-modernized consignment will entice sellers to provide even more merchandise. Last year, all of the good equipment was gone within a couple of hours, leaving as many as 2,000 buyers rummaging for a deal.
Proceeds from the ski swap are donated by the Alyeska Ski & Snowboarding Club to support youth skiing events across Southcentral Alaska.
Contact Eric Christopher Adams at eric(at)alaskadispatch.com