At least half a dozen snowstorms and two or more Colorado ski resorts are expected to be open by the time the 21st annual Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo opens for business on Nov. 2-4, 2012 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 seasons 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 Colorados 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 and there are a wide variety of activities to do so. New this year is the Coleman Mountain Activity Center anchored by Gibbon Slacklinesa jiggly tightrope challenge that has exploded in the past two years. Gibbon Slacklines will host a pro competition and have a demo center that will deliver exciting competition and a chance to try this emerging new sport.
In the MBS Mountainboard Zone, visitors can try doing stunts on the big mountainboards and take a board for a test ride. The MBS zone will have an obstacle course for beginners and skilled participants. For aspiring mountaineers, Colorado Outward Bound will be operating a climbing wall and guiding young climbers through the basic skills. The ELITEAM Training Center will be back this year 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 Kids Slope for first-time, just-thinking-about-it little skiers. Energetic pre-skiers and riders can bounce into the inflatable walls 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.
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.