The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting brisker and the leaves are putting on their usual dazzling display of riotous colors.
You know what that means, right?
That annual autumnal rite of passage known as the Ski and Snowboard Show is just about starting to make the rounds of convention halls and expo centers around North America, and what better place to get a jump start on the season than at one of these consumer carnivals?
With almost every show featuring resort, equipment, travel and retail exhibitions and reps, interactive entertainment (slack lines, climbing walls and such), huge gear swaps and sales and tons of swag, it’s how many a skier and snowboarder gets pumped up for the coming season.
So get yourself ready at one of these shows:
BEWI Ski & Snowboard Expos
There are two sites, nearly a continent apart, for this show. One, the Boston.com Ski & Snowboard Expo, will be held Nov. 8-11 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston; the other, The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo, is at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center on Nov. 16-18. 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.
Toronto Ski + Snowboard Show
The biggest such expo in Canada returns to the International Centre Hall in Mississauga, Ontario, on Oct. 25-28. Admission price is $18 for adults and $10 for seniors (65 and over) and juniors (ages 11-17; 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: Pier 35 in San Francisco on Nov. 3-4; Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on Nov. 10-11 and Cal Expo Center in Sacramento on Nov. 17-18. Each show features beer and wine tastings, and all three will give away lift passes at selected Sierra resorts. General admission is $5, 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/Alpine Meadows and wine and beer tastings). Details at sfskifest.com.
Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show
The newest and largest consumer show in the Midwest will take place at Chicago’s Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center on Oct. 19-21. Admission price is $14, with guests receiving a lift ticket voucher at selected resorts. Further details can be found at windycityskiandsnowboardshow.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 55th time on Nov. 16-18. With the $20 admission fee — $5 for kids 6-12 — you also get a free lift ticket to Brian Head, Snow Valley or Mt. Baldy or two-fer offers at various Southern California and Utah resorts. Details at skidazzle.com.
Northeast Ski & Craft Beer Showcase
Regional breweries and wineries are among the enticements to be had at the Albany, N.Y., Capital Center on Nov. 2-4. Ticket prices are $10 in advance, $12 at the gate (kids 10 and under are free), 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.
Edmonton Ski & Snowboard Show
The delights of skiing and snowboarding Western Canada is the focal point of the Edmonton Ski & Snowboard Show on Oct. 27-28 at the Edmonton EXPO Centre. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $11 for kids 6-11; there are also weekend and family passes for $20 and $40, respectively. Further details can be found at powderfest.com.
The Portland, Ore., Expo Center is the site for this expo on Nov. 2-4. 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 7-12; 6 and under are free); there’s also a two-pay pass for $18. Details at portlandskifever.com.
SnowJam Ski and Snowboard Expo
The Del Mar Fairgrounds is the site of the San Diego SnowJam on Nov. 9-11 before the expo moves to the Las Vegas Convention Center on Nov. 24-25. Admission prices each weekend are $19 in advance, $22 at the gate; kids 13 and under get in for free. Among the swag is a lift ticket to Mountain High (San Diego show only), Brian Head and Eagle Point plus discounted lift tickets at selected Southern California and Utah resorts. Details at snowjamshow.com.