The Swarm Before the Storm

“Now that some of the ski areas are open and we’re getting our first snows of the season — with more expected this week — we’re right in that rush of anticipation: Winter is here,” says Joan Christensen, spokeswoman for the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo, which turns 21 this year and is being presented in tandem with the Rocky Mountain Brew Fest this weekend at the Colorado Convention Center. “The early-season ski sales have been strong,” adds Christensen. “I think what we’re seeing is pent-up demand because people didn’t have a great snow season last year and there are already signs that this year is going to be better.”

Christensen calls the Expo the “largest portable ski shop in Colorado, if not the world,” with more than $5 million worth of previous seasons’ product marked down up to 75 percent off, as well as discount lift ticket, lodging, lesson and season-pass offerings on sale from nearly all of Colorado’s ski areas. “It’s become an annual tradition around here to kick off the season with a trip to the Expo,” she says. “People do love a sale.”

The Expo runs from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $12 at the door or $10 with a discount coupon available at Kids twelve and under get in free, and there will be plenty for them to do while you get your shop on, with slacklines, mountain-board demos, a climbing wall, and a kids’ slope for newbies to get their first taste of slipping and sliding. The Brew Fest requires an additional ticket — $15 at the door or $12 at
Fri., Nov. 2, 12-10 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2012