Our fair state is buzzing with new faces and new energy. And what do many of those new residents want to do? Learn to ski and snowboard, of course.
The 26th annual Ski & Snowboard Expo will cater to that crowd at this year's three-day event, as well as the longtime outdoor fanatics who show up every year to scour the hot deals on skis, snowboards, boots, clothing, lift tickets, lodging and more. It's Friday through Sunday at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
"They don't know how to get into the skiing or snowboarding thing," said expo spokeswoman Joan Christensen. "We're dedicating a booth to first-timers this year."
Experienced skiers and snowboarders needn't feel left out. About 60 to 70 exhibitors will be on hand, along with an information booth about wintry destinations outside Colorado, such as in Canada and Japan.
"For those who have been coming for 25 years, they know everything about Vail or Steamboat," Christensen said. "We're trying to appeal to very different groups to give them something fresh."
Gear and clothing are discounted by 40 to 60 percent, and all Colorado resorts will be on hand to sell season passes at the last of the preseason pricing.
Adults can take a break from the shopping and sit for a spell in the beer garden or take in a show from the Flying Aces, world-class athletes who perform in a double trampoline exhibit. Kids have a number of activities to keep them busy, including a climbing wall, high ropes course and a dry slope for those learning to ski.
"It's a very fun, very dynamic event, especially this year for first-timers as well as expo vets," Christensen said.
A few great deals
- Copper Mountain will offer a Ski and Ride School University Program for folks 18 and older who are true first-time skiers or snowboarders. The $249 package features three lessons, three days of rental gear, three days of parking, lunch for two days and a season pass after graduating from lessons. You must be at the expo to purchase. More details are online at coppercolorado.com.
- Loveland Ski Area will offer a three-class pass that allows adult first-timers to receive one full-day lesson and two half-day lessons along with rental equipment and a free season pass after completion of the third lesson. It's $366. Details are online at skiloveland.com.
- Ski Sunlight's Learn to Shine package features three full-day lessons and a five-day pass for the remainder of the season, for a total of eight days of skiing or riding for $390 with rental gear or $375 without equipment. More details are online at sunlightmtn.com.
JENNIFER MULSON, THE GAZETTE, 636-0270, JEN.MULSON@GAZETTE.COM