The 21st annual Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo opens for business on tomorrow, Nov. 2, and will run through Sunday, Nov. 4, in downtown Denver at the Colorado Convention Center in Hall F. As much a part of the early season ritual as opening day on the slopes, the gigantic sale is a magnet for shoppers on the prowl for skis, snowboards, boots, outdoor clothing, and essential accessories such as helmets, hats, goggles, and gloves. The reason: prices on last season’s inventory are marked down 40-75 percent. New this year, a section of the retail space will be dedicated to summer outdoor gear with everything from hiking boots to camping gear.
For information junkies, 24 of Colorado’s resorts will be manning booths with Expo-only specials on everything from lodging, lift tickets, and lessons to discounts on dining and mountain resort activities. Coupons, giveaways, and insider recommendations from resort representatives help shoppers plan their day trips, weekend getaways, and winter vacations.
Keeping kids engaged while adults shop is another Expo tradition. New this year is the Coleman Mountain Activity Center anchored by Gibbon Slacklines—a jiggly tightrope challenge that has exploded in the past two years. A pro performance using Slacklines was featured in Madonna’s halftime show at last year’s Super Bowl. This year, a pro competition and a demo center will deliver exciting competition and a chance to try this emerging new sport. In the MBS Mountainboard Zone, it’s not about being a spectator. Instead of demonstrations by pro athletes, this year Expo visitors can try doing stunts on the big mountainboards. No, not backflipping over trucks, but wannabe mountainboarders can take a board for a test ride. The MBS zone will have an obstacle course for beginners and skilled participants. And for aspiring mountaineers, Colorado Outward Bound will be operating a climbing wall and guiding young climbers through the basic skills.
The frequently mobbed ELITEAM Training Center with its timed obstacle course that measures basic fitness and flexibility skills brings kids back year after year in hopes of improving their performance.
Other attractions include the Skyriders! aerial trampoline exhibitions presented by Crested Butte and the Winter Park Kid’s Slope for first-time, just-thinking-about-it little skiers. Energetic pre-skiers and riders can bounce into the inflatable walls with reckless abandon in the Keystone Kidtopia bouncy castle. And for those who have always wondered what the sport of curling is all about, demonstrations and a chance to try the sport will be an intriguing new attraction courtesy of the Denver Curling Club.
Adults can gravitate to the section of the Expo dedicated to the Rocky Mountain Brew Fest, back for the second year with more than two dozen distinct beers and ales from 10 local brewers. A separate and additional ticket for the Brew Fest is required. Brew Fest hours are Friday, Nov. 2 from 6-9pm; Saturday, Nov. 3 from 1-4 pm and again from 5-8 pm; and Sunday, Nov. 3 from 2-5 pm. For details on available beers, visit www.RockyMountainBrewFest.com.
Expo hours are noon to 10 pm on Friday, Nov. 2; Saturday, Nov. 3 from 10 am to 8 pm; and Sunday, Nov. 4 from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is $12 for adults or $10 with a discount coupon available in The Denver Post or at any Colorado Ski & Golf or Colorado Ski & Sport store. Visit www.skisnowboardexpo.com for discount coupons and to purchase tickets in advance. Kids 12 and under are free. Admission to the Rocky Mountain Brew Fest requires a Ski & Snowboard Expo ticket. Combination tickets that include admission to both Expo and the Brew Fest are $24 in advance and $27 at the door. For details and schedules, visit www.skisnowboardexpo.com.