Vintage photos: Gart Bros. annual SNIAGRAB Labor Day ski sale

The annual tradition of Labor Day ski sales in Colorado dates back to 1954 when sporting goods retailer Gart Bros. inaugurated SNIAGRAB (bargains spelled backwards).

The store was trying to get rid of the previous year’s product lines so it could make room for new inventory, and savvy skiers — and later, snowboarders, too — knew they could find dramatic discounts. As a result, they would line up hours or even days in advance outside the doors of Gart’s Sports Castle on 10th Avenue and Broadway, sitting in chairs or sleeping in tents.

Colorado Ski & Golf got into the Labor Day game in 1994 with a version it called 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. It retired the Ski Rex moniker two years ago and debuted a new name this year: The Epic Drop.

Sports Authority, which had merged with Gart Sports in 2003, went bankrupt in 2016 and that spelled the end of SNIAGRAB.

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