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BSF cancels annual ski swap

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BRIDGER SKI FOUNDATION

BOZEMAN – The Bridger Ski Foundation has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 BSF Ski Swap, which was scheduled for the first weekend in November at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. It would have been the 53rd year of the swap in Bozeman.

The decision was made collectively by BSF Executive Director Evan Weiss and the Ski Swap organizing committee, of which many members have been key volunteers for over 20 years.

“I hate to cancel it, but ultimately, I don’t want to put our volunteers and community at risk with this event during a pandemic,” said Weiss. “Their safety is more important than the significant support this event raises for the Bridger Ski Foundation and the community.”

The event committee had been planning a vastly altered event due to the pandemic, limiting consignment items to hard goods only (skis, snowboards, boots and poles) while also staggering the number of people allowed into the sales area. They had been working with the Gallatin County Health Department on a potential  plan but decided to cancel it.

“Even with safety measures in place, there were still challenges, and we just didn’t feel it was the right thing to do,” Weiss said.

In a normal year, the Ski Swap draws more than 5,000 people over the course of the weekend and is the unofficial mark of the ski season for this die-hard ski town.

“We’ll come back next year, better than ever,” Weiss said. He admits, however, that canceling the Ski Swap (the biggest fundraising event of the year) and other fundraisers will make it challenging to cover the costs of some of the community opportunities, including  covering about half of the cost of the ski programs and grooming 70+km of winter trails in the community. 

To make up for this void, the Bridger Ski Foundation is asking community members to consider the following options:

Register now for the virtual Oktoberfest on October 10 (with lots of great holiday gift giving options). The ticket includes access to their evening event, with Olympian guests, a live auction, and prizes for attendees, including a 2-night stay at the Wilson Hotel in Big Sky. Ticket holders can also bid on a collection of unique items in a week-long online silent auction. www.bridgerskifoundation.org/oktoberfest 

Purchase a trails pass to support the Community Nordic Trails Program. www.bridgerskifoundation.org/trails

Sign up for one of BSF’s ski programs, which are designed for all ages and abilities. Most BSF ski programs are already open for registration, with many of the junior teams already hard at work on fall dryland training. The entry-level Introductory programs for Nordic, Alpine and Freestyle skiing will open for registration on October 15. www.bridgerskifoundation.org

The Bridger Ski Foundation, which dates back to 1936, provides educational and competitive programs for all ages, year round, in Nordic, Alpine, Freestyle, Freeskiing and Snowboarding. They also groom winter trails for the public at six venues in Bozeman.

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