Demo ski rental: Discounted purchase?

Old Jan 10th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Demo ski rental: Discounted purchase?

We're heading out to Breckenridge for a ski vacation, and I would like to buy my own skis. I've been thinking of skiing locally in PA to demo some skis and then purchase before heading out west.

Now someone tells me that I may be better off demoing my skis out west and purchasing there for a good price. Any thoughts on this? I'm really trying to get the best price on the skis (I've narrowed it down to 3 to demo) and have been keeping my eye on prices online.

Thanks for any thoughts!
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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I would demo in CO rather than lug skis out with me on the plane. Also, I think you will have a better selection and a more informed sales and rental staff in Breck. I would call or email some of the local stores to see how their demo program works.

That said, I have my own ski boots (which I love as the insoles were molded to my feet when I bought them and they've got those little heaters installed to keep me warm) but I rent skis each year. I always travel to ski, never ski locally, so I'd rather not deal with traveling with skis. I also like having the latest ski technology and materials under me each year.

My parents went skiing during the early season at Buttermilk in Dec. and asked if the rental shop had any rental skis left from last year. They got midpriced skis for $25 including bindings as they were just wanting to get rid of them. I realize thats not quite the same as getting brand new, exactly-what-you-want skis but for that price I'd be tempted to buy!
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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Well, it is getting later in the season, so you can't necessarily count on going out West & them having the ski you want in stock to buy. If you would be happy just riding the demo fleet if the ski you want turns out not to be available (or if you aren't too picky about what you get) that might be an option. Then again, do you want to ski on vacation, or do you want to demo ski's, buy a ski, and wait while they mount a binding for you?

I don't know about the Breckenridge area, but we once demo'ed in Snowmass. Now, usually when you demo, they even knock the price of your demo rental off of the price of the ski. My husband & I both found a ski we adored, and thought, hey, this might be a deal, we're already getting the rental price off the ski...well, fortunately we didn't pull the trigger there, because we found the same ski back home for MUCH less AND online for much less.

Of course if you research ahead of time, you will know if the ski you want is overpriced when you get there...for what it's worth, we did have a friend buy a snowboard in Park City on vacation for a good deal - but, his vacation wasn't dependent on finding that board, he just knew what he wanted & stumbled on a good deal.

The only reason I can think of to wait until you are out West is if the Western conditions are going to impact which ski you buy and you HAVE to demo in the West. (like, are you looking for a powder ski?) If it's just a ski for the groomed runs, I don't think it matters where you demo.

(Online, have you checked out I once got a great deal there...they actually deal inventory from a bunch of stores in Colorado. I would CALL them though, if you use them - they will give advice, they will negotiate on price over the phone, & they have stuff that is NOT on the website.)
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 08:20 AM
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You might contact Breeze Ski Rentals, which is probably the largest rental operation here on the front range, and ask their policy re: purchasing demos. Also, Gart Sports has skis discounted now, so you could contact them with your specific ski inquiry. I think you'll find better choices and prices in Colorado because of the mass quantities in stock. Good luck!
Old Jan 10th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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I second the thought of checking with Gart Brothers (one in Silverthorne is close to Breck)for good prices, especially when they start discounting everything.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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I would wait to buy in Breckenridge. Though I don't know much about skiing in PA, I've got to think you'd have a better selection in Breck. Buying demo skis is a great deal; I've started doing it with all my skis (downhill, class cross country, skate skis). Most rental places get rid of their inventory every year, so you're buying, at the most, 1-year-old skis. Depending on the length and other factors, they could be almost new. Pretty much every place will sell you demo skis, though they don't advertise - you have to ask.

One problem I had when I was demoing my last pair is that not a lot of places had the kind I wanted in my length (I'm short). Obviously, this will only be an issue for you if want an unsual kind/brand and/or need a less-common length.

You could try Breeze (locations all over) and Gart. Also, check with any of the hundreds of rental places right in Breck. If you want more high-performance skis, only a couple of the stores in Breck carry those. Offhand, I can only remember Racer's Edge; I'm sure there are others, but I can't remember their names. You might want to call around first before you head out West, to check if the stores have the type of skis you have it narrowed down to.

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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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We demoed (that can't be the right spelling!) several pairs of skis in Vail a few years ago, and thought we'd get better prices if we waited and bought at home.

For some unknown reason, I got the idea in my head of calling the stores at home--and none of them had the skis we wanted!

We went to several stores in Vail, Frisco, and Copper--said we wanted two pair of skis, bindings, mounted and shipped home--told each place we were price shopping, and that they'd have one chance to bid on our business. We were surpised to find that the shop at the base of Copper Mountain was the cheapest.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 08:27 PM
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If/when you know what you want, check Ebay (from PA or Breck). We've found great deals on new skis over the last few years.
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