EUGENE, Ore. -- Fall has just started for some people, but others are already planning for snow and shopping for new and used snow gear at bargain prices this weekend.
The annual Eugene Ski Swap, held in exhibition halls four and five at the Lane Events Center, is now in its 43rd year.
Tickets ran $1 for the Thursday and Friday sale, with free admission Saturday. The swap is a benefit to both skiers looking for deal and area ski patrols.
The event is organized by Eugene Ski Swap Inc., a non-profit organization. Beneficiaries are the Santiam Pass, Willamette Backcountry and Willamette Pass ski patrols, which use the funds for medical supplies and equipment.
Bob Freund, a Eugene Ski Swap Inc. board member, was in charge of cataloging and inventory. He said that the ski swap brings in about 8,000 pieces of equipment each year. He added that since 1980 the swap has sold about 50 percent of all items offered.
Throughout Thursday and Friday, residents have brought in unwanted skis, snowboards, clothing and other winter gear. They register each item for 50 cents and earn 20 percent of the consignment.
First time visitor Eric Pula learned about the swap from a ski instructor friend. He was registering his skis, size 176, for sale.
“The swap gives people a chance to clean out their basements,” Pula said. “And an opportunity to buy new skis.”
Pula, an avid skier, said he hopes to find newer skis at this year’s swap. The ski swap is also an opportunity for area vendors to offer deep discounts.
Deek Heykamp, co-owner of Next Adventure in Portland, said, “It’s a place for vendors to offer left-over products for special deals. You’ll see last year’s stuff at a great price.”
Heykamp was selling a pair of 2012 Rossignol Super 7 skis. These skis sold for $900 last year. At the swap, he was selling the brand new Rossignol skis for $425.
People can stop by the Lane Events Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to see what kind of snow gear is being offered.