Those annual harbingers of the ski and snowboard season — the consumer trade shows — are starting to make their reappearance after missing a year because of the pandemic.
Some of the huge national productions such as those in Boston and Denver, for example, and even the smaller gatherings in places like Albany, N.Y., Dallas and Toronto, have decided to extend the moratorium for another autumn.
But several perennial expos, particularly on the West Coast, are forging ahead with plans to let skiers and snowboarders know what’s on tap for the coming winter in snow country. Here’s a list of some of the bigger attractions, with anticipated show dates (COVID permitting, that is):
Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show
This coming weekend, Sept. 26-26, sees the return of Chicagoland’s largest winter consumer show to the Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill. With 70,000 feet of space filled booths for retailer, resort and manufacturer reps and a super sale, the $15 admission price — which also includes two-for-one lift ticket vouchers at Alpine Valley and Crystal Mountain and a freebie for Ski Brule — this show is a real bargain. Details at windycityskiandsnowboardshow.com.
NorCal Ski and Snowboard Festivals
There are two separate sites and dates for this large Northern California show: Pier 35 in San Francisco on Nov. 5-7, and Cal Expo Center in Sacramento on Nov. 19-21. Each show features beer and wine tastings, and both will give away midweek lift passes at selected Sierra resorts. General admission is free, but there’s also a Powder Pass ($25, which includes a midweek lift ticket at Bear Valley and China Peak and a two-for-one midweek pass at Palisades Tahoe, aka Olympic Valley Alpine Meadows) and a VIP Pass ($50, which includes midweek lift tickets at Bear Valley, China Peak and Homewood, a midweek two-fer at Palisades Tahoe and wine and beer tastings). Details at sfskifest.com.
Billed as the largest such show in the U.S. — it features more than two football fields’ worth of ski and snowboard gear for sale at deep discount — Ski Dazzle returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center for the 57th time on Dec. 10-12. With the $22 admission fee — free for kids 12 and under — you also get a free lift ticket to Snow Valley, Mt. Baldy or Brian Head or two-fer offers at various Southern California resorts. Details at skidazzle.com.
The annual Northwest gathering formerly known as SkiFever returns to the Portland, Ore., Expo Center on Nov. 19-21. Along with the usual booths and displays there will be beer and wine tastings, live music and a film festival. Details at snowvana.com.
SnowJam Ski and Snowboard Expo
The Del Mar Fairgrounds is the site of the San Diego SnowJam on Nov. 12-14 before the expo moves to the Las Vegas Convention Center on Dec. 4-5. Admission prices each weekend are $22 at the gate; kids 13 and under get in for free. Among the swag is a lift ticket voucher to Snow Valley, Brian Head or Eagle Point plus discounted lift tickets at selected Southern California and Utah resorts. Details at snowjamshow.com.