Christy Sports moves ski and snowboard sales back to Labor Day weekend

For at least one of the two major Colorado ski and snowboard retail chains, the hallowed ritual of Labor Day weekend sales will return to its traditional place on the calendar, promising deep discounts on gear, season passes and lift ticket packages.

In recent years, Christy Sports launched its Powder Daze sales a week before Labor Day weekend to get the jump on the competition, but chief executive Matt Gold says the sale will return to Labor Day weekend and run from Sept. 2 through Sept. 11. Powder Daze sales were online only in 2020 because of the pandemic.

“Last year, given the fact that we were willing and able — and had the wherewithal — to run the event live again, both in stores and online, we wanted to give it an early start because there was pent-up energy and demand,” Gold said. “We do feel the real energy for this event is around Labor Day and Labor Day weekend, so our minds and our attention went to that. That’s the milestone, that’s the focus, that’s the energy, so let’s just go there.”

Colorado’s Labor Day ski sales tradition began in 1954 at now-defunct Gart Bros. with Sniagrab (bargains spelled backward), during which people would camp in tents outside the store for days in advance so that they could be first in line. Colorado Ski & Golf got into the Labor Day game in 1994 with Ski Rex, and Christy Sports launched Powder Daze in 2009. Vail Resorts acquired Colorado Ski & Golf in 2010 and renamed the chain Epic Mountain Gear in 2018. Epic no longer uses the Ski Rex label.

Epic will announce its preseason sales plan next week, according to a Vail Resorts spokeswoman, although the company has announced that Epic Pass prices will increase after Labor Day.

Larson’s Ski & Sport, an independent shop in Wheat Ridge also known for attracting crowds for great preseason deals on gear and Loveland ski passes, will hold its sale over Labor Day weekend as well. Here’s an insider tip, though: They’re already selling gear at the prices they will be charging then.

Labor Day sales typically offer discounts of up to 60% on last year’s gear to make room for this year’s product lines. Savvy ski and snowboard customers know it’s the best way to save big bucks on new gear and passes. Christy Sports and Larson’s also will be offering great deals on season equipment rentals.

Gold said Christy Sports is intentional about offering great preseason deals because it’s critical to attract new skiers and snowboarders and establish customer loyalty.

“We don’t only view this as how much we can sell,” Gold said. “It’s really core to us that this is an event to help remove or reduce the cost barrier to entry in our sports. These are not inexpensive activities. We really think part of the higher purpose is to provide consumers the affordable entry point to high-quality ski and snowboard gear and help grow the sport.”

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