Judging by the number of people milling about along Atlantic Ave. with brand-new skis and snowboards last night, business was brisk at the Ski and Snowboard Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center, where a pair of new retailers have replaced out-of-business Ski Market. The new location is certainly a welcome change, even if the quarters of the hall got a bit cramped during much of yesterday's opening day.
As for the deals, clothing and equipment from Eastern Boarder and East Coast Alpine carried fair prices, and certainly a much larger selection of both than what Ski Market had brought to the show in recent years. Worth a gander if you're in the market.
Deals and giveaways on lift tickets weren't as easy to come by in the past.
The new marriage of Attitash and Wildcat announced a new frequent skier card that can net you half-off non-holiday weekdays, 25 percent off on weekends, and 10 percent off on holidays. Not bad, when you consider the 50 percent off on weekdays could essentially replace the Wednesday 2-for-1 that Peak Resorts recently wiped out at newly acquired Wildcat (along with many other longtime deals). The catch: The card will cost you $79.
Discount cards are all the rage it seems, as every resort from Sunday River to Stowe has some form of pay-to-save version. Some come with a lift ticket, many don't. But the Ski and Ride card comes with a pair of lift tickets - one to Black Mountain in Jackson, N.H., and one other of your choosing, based on availability (Saddleback here). Best of all, a portion of the $29 purchase price benefits Children's Hospital in Dartmouth, N.H. The Vermont Travel Club Card is also a great way to save on lift tickets, lodging, and meals in Vermont, and the Ski Card seems like it offers pretty decent savings for $39.
Not a show special, but the Pico Express Card comes with three days skiing for $99. It is on sale until Dec. 16. Pico will become Vermont's first completely non-smoking ski area early next year.
Vermont's Burke is offering a three-pack of lift tickets at the show for just $99.