Thousands showed up at the annual Big White Ski Club ski swap

Packed house at ski swap

While it's still a bit soon to be heading to the slopes, hundreds of skiers and boarders were up early in Kelowna Saturday morning, hunting for a bargain.

The annual Big White Ski Club ski and board swap, now in its 49th year, was once again held at Kelowna's New Life Church, just off Harvey Avenue. While the doors opened at 8 a.m., people eager for a deal were lined up at 7 a.m., despite the brisk morning temperatures.

“We served them hot chocolate while they were in the line,” said organizer Rachel Renaud. “We're just really trying to rev up the community and get them stoked for the ski season.”

Renaud says the annual swap is the Big White Ski Club's biggest fundraiser of the year, and they expect to raise between $25,000 and $30,000.

“The money goes towards our ski racers,” she said. “We put the money into the coaching, equipment, development of special training, we have speakers come in and teach them about sports psychology and stuff like that.”

Skis, boards, boots, outerwear and more, both new and used, were flying off the shelves, and several volunteers noted this year's event boasted some of their most inventory in recent memory.

Renaud says about 160 volunteers came together this week to put on the event, setting up and taking consignment equipment Friday, managing the thousands of customers who showed up Saturday, and finally tearing the whole operation down Sunday.

The Big White Ski Club, which has been around for almost 60 years, takes 20 per cent of sales, plus $2 for each item sold, in addition to a $2 entry charge for those looking to browse.

For those who slept in Saturday morning, the sale runs until 3 p.m. Saturday.

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