By Karuna Eberl
Gart Sports kicked off its annual Sniagrab sale over Labor Day Weekend at stores across the state. The event traditionally signals Coloradans that it’s time to start preparing for snow, though after a summer packed with record-breaking temperatures, the thought of a day below freezing was a bit hard to imagine.
But the annual mayhem — complete with masses of bodies exchanging hoards of equipment and cash — happened in full-force this year at most of the stores, and especially inside the downtown Denver Sports Castle store, which set up its usual two-story sale warehouse for the event.
“We sold just a ton of everything,” said store manager Emmanueo Amarty. “Numbers wise we did just as well for the most part. We had stuff at lower prices.”
And at a sale that’s called “bargains spelled backwards” price is the draw for consumers. So is finding that long-lost classic piece of equipment that’s been tucked away in some back room for years, or that closeout deal that’s too good to resist — like that Shokk ’00 snowboard for $39.99.
Some of the other 7,000-plus boards at the Denver store included Burton, Airwalk, Rossi, Salomon, Lamar, Vision, Liquid, K2, Limited, Morrow and Oxygen. The big sellers, according to the guys in sales, were all-mountain boards, especially Rossi, which they had a lot of this year, and Burton, which always moves well.
For bindings, Flow took the prize. “We sold a lot more strap bindings this year than last year,” said snowboard department employee Luke Jay. “Last year we had four or five step-in models and this year only one. Not that many people ask for step-ins anymore.”
Color and price dictated most purchases in both hard and softgoods, according to Amarty. Goggles, gloves and helmets were the most popular small items, while Bonfire and Burton clothing made the biggest impact.
During the days following opening weekend, the crowed thinned a bit more than normal, said Jay, but that’s to be expected for a sale that’s scheduled to last for a couple of months.
So what was customers’ overall outlook on this winter being better than the last?
“Some people seem a little hesitant, wondering what kind of snow we’ll get,” said Jay.
Some diehards, however, said otherwise. They’re justifying their purchases with this insight: the Farmers Almanac predicts piles of snow for the next eight months.