Calgary Ski Sale a Record-Breaking Success Nov 15th, 2009
By: Alasdair Fergusson

Wow! How can we beat a record-breaking Sale with another? Thank you to all the volunteers at this year's Ski Sale 2009.

The effort by the Calgary Ski Club, Canadian Ski Patrol System Calgary Zone and Lake Louise Ski Club and their friends & family at this year’s Ski Sale was exceptional. It was a very successful event with super organisation by the management team and, most importantly, very able and willing volunteers! There were very few errors and omissions thanks to care and attention by so many volunteers. Participating ski shops are astonished at the low losses of goods and cash errors at the Ski Sale. We were all impressed by the willingness to help, to lift & lay stuff, and so on, so many times. We must not forget the support of the wonderful Max Bell staff again this year. It was also a great social event for the 300 or so volunteers with great hot food, fruit, treats and refreshments!

Confounding all our prognostications and fears about the economy, limited parking, space restrictions operating at Max Bell and more, we had an outstanding Sale as shown in the results below:

  • Attendance was a record for all 3 days, up 950 (16%) from 2008 to total 6,768.
  • For the record Friday, the line stretched round all 4 sides of the interior corridors back to cash.
  • Total Sales over 3 days were up 4% to $596,000, beating last year’s record.
  • Public consigning goods was up 27% to 706, bringing in over 2000 items.
  • Total Consignment was down 15% to 7343 items but the quality and value were good.
  • The consignment of XC ski gear was poor this year, down from the good selection last year.
  • Percent goods sold increased from 65% to 75% indicating that we offered good value.
  • And, by the way, we made a pile of money.... The biggest and best pile of money ever!
  • There will be a very handsome payout to the 3 long time partner organisations - Calgary Ski Club, Canadian Ski Patrol System and the Lake Louise Ski Club.
  • It is premature to estimate profits as we do not yet know all our costs.

We have had major success with increased total sales and steadily increasing attendance since we left the Ski Show in Stampede Park in 1996.

  • Sales have tripled from approx $200,000 to almost $600,000.
  • Attendance at the Ski Sale has more than doubled from 3223 in 1996 to 6768.
  • Ease of access & low parking charges that are included in a low public admission are major benefits.
  • Good selection, quality and good values of items being sold are our recipe for success.

The closure of Sport Swap last year removed a major competitor that had previously destroyed the Annual Hockey Sale at Max Bell. The New & Used Ski Sale at this time is the only large venue to sell your old gear and clothing, and is the largest sale of bargain ski and snowboard equipment and clothing in Calgary.

We survive and grow thanks to our long-time partners, the local Calgary-Banff ski shops, especially Ski Cellar, and the support of Sunshine and Lake Louise ski areas.

For the future we need to invest some of our profits to upgrade our website, computers and software. We need to explore how we may accommodate the growing crowds with more space and more cash tills.

Thanks again to the management committee, the willing volunteers and the staff of Max Bell Arena for making this a memorable record Ski Sale.

Alasdair Fergusson, Director Ski Sale 2009

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