Conventional Wisdom: Where the Snowsport Shows Are
There are many indications of the approaching winter: Days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning, the wooly worm has put on an extra coat.
One of our favorites is the annual return of the ski and snowboard expo.
With most every show featuring equipment, travel and retail exhibitions and reps, interactive entertainment (slack lines, climbing walls and such), huge ski/snowboard gear swaps and sales and tons of swag, there’s no better way to get pumped up for the coming season — at least psychologically.
The following are among the premier shows in North America:
Toronto Ski + Snowboard Show
The biggest such expo in Canada returns to the International Centre Hall in Mississauga, Ontario, on Oct. 25-29. Admission price is $10-$18 (kids 10 and under are free) and a Family Pass (2 adults, 2 juniors) costs $45. Further show details can be found at torontoskishow.com.
Snowbomb Ski and Snowboard Festival
There are three separate sites and dates for this large Northern California show: Santa Clara Convention Center on Oct. 28-29, Pier 35 in San Francisco on Nov. 4-5 and Cal Expo Center in Sacramento on Nov. 11-12. The San Francisco and Sacramento shows feature beer and wine tastings, and all three will give away lift passes at selected Sierra resorts. General admission is free, but there’s also a Powder Pass ($25 which includes a lift ticket at three Sierra resorts) and a VIP Pass ($50, 3 lift tickets, a two-fer at Squaw Valley and wine and beer tastings; $40 at Santa Clara, which has no alcohol). Details at sfskifest.com.
Northeast Ski & Craft Beer Showcase
A dozen regional breweries and two New York wineries are among the enticements to be had at the Albany, N.Y., Capital Center on Nov. 3-5. Ticket prices are $10 in advance, $12 day of, and you can also purchase a three-day pass for $25. The first 500 attendees each day will receive a free lift ticket for selected I SKI NY resorts and two-fers for selected Vermont resorts. Details at northeastskishow.com.
Skifever & Snowboard Show
The Portland, Ore., Expo Center is the site for this expo on Nov. 3-5. Along with the usual booths and displays there will be a winefest and beerfest with free tastings. Ticket prices are $14 adults, $3 juniors (ages 6-12), and with the purchase attendees will get a 2-for-price-of-1 lift ticket voucher for Mt. Hood Meadows. ; there’s also a two-pay pass for $18. Details at portlandskifever.com.
BEWI Ski & Snowboard Expo
There are two sites, nearly a continent apart, for this show. One will be held Nov. 9-12 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston with Denver’s Colorado Convention Center holding the other on Nov. 10-12. Admission is $15 — kids 12 and under are free — and with the entry fee you get, among other swag, a $10 getskitickets.com gift card. Details at skisnowexpo.com.
Snow Jam Ski and Snowboard Expo
The Del Mar Fairgrounds is the site of this year’s San Diego Snow Jam on Nov. 10-12 before the expo moves to the Cashman Center in Las Vegas on Dec. 2-3. Admission prices each weekend are $19 in advance, $22 day of; kids 13 and under get in for free. Among the swag is a lift ticket to Mountain High (San Diego show only), Brian Head or Eagle Point plus discounted lift tickets at selected Southern California and Utah resorts. Details at snowjamshow.com.
Billed as the largest such show in the U.S. — it features four football fields worth of ski and snowboard gear for sale at deep discount — Ski Dazzle returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center for the 54th time on Nov. 17-19. With the $20 admission fee — $5 for kids 6-12 — you also get a free ticket to Brian Head and Mt. Baldy and two-fer offers at various Southern California and Utah resorts. Details at skidazzle.com.