Friday, September 8, 2006

Labor Day Sales, new retail offers and Jackson Hole Discount

September 4, 2006

Labor Day Ski and snowboard sales have launched the winter 2007 season from coast to coast. These preseason sales once were more pervasive than currently is the case. Preseason sales blowing out last year’s gear began in the weeks right after July 4th and hit their peak this weekend. They will continue sporadically though out the fall until around Columbus Day. These sales are often combined with swaps where you can bring you old gear and try to sell it and use the funds for the new upgrade you just got to have.

These sales surely can be a lot of fun and often combine a festival feel with resorts on hand selling season passes, discount cards and prepackaged sets of tickets at a discounted rate for committing to the local resort now. Colorado has traditionally and continues to be one of the leaders in great deals on gear and passes. The retail wars go back to the middle of last century when two retailers Gart Sports (Now The Sports Authority) and Cooks Sporting Goods would have competing sales. The two that now face off are TSA and Colorado Ski and Golf each Labor day Weekend – The sales are respectively called Sniagrab – bargains spelled backwards and Ski Rex. Great deals and many resort deals abound at each. Even the new gear tends to get discounted close to 20% on the opening weeks of this sale. One word of advice. If you are getting to one of these sales and the special you are looking for is sold out, make sure to get one of the sales reps to go digging for that item. They sometimes will pull one of these hot deals off the rack and hide them if the competitor dropped the price too far. I have personally worked at these sales and seen this done at Colorado Ski and Golf. Then they mysteriously re-appear at a higher price a few weeks later. Be insistent since they have advertised this special.

Keep looking at the deals as they add new ones for the first several weeks in September. Also many of the sales reps can make a deal with you to ensure you do not walk out, so always ask, “Is this the best you can do? Are there any other deals available?”

Now with the increased competition of online retailers ask for comparative pricing. Many will match or beat any verified price on an item that is the same make, year, model, size and color.

Hot deals at resorts: All Colorado Resorts and most nationwide are in the midst of season pass sales. If you are skiing and riding enough, buy them now. This is the best deal of the year and often includes bonus features. One great special on the marketplace is Steamboats Special early season sale offering discounts of up to 25% on lodging and lift tickets that are pre-purchased and prepaid. Steamboat really does not discount so this is a real value if you know you are headed to Steamboat.

Jackson Hole – I know, No TRAM and that is a travesty flat out. But the place still rocks and the skiing and riding is world class. Alpenhof Lodge at the base of Teton Village is offering a 25% discount on stays of 4 nights or more for Mountain Sports Club members.
This is truy a distinctive alpine Bavarian flavored mountain lodge. The dining is excellent and rooms are inviting and comfortable.