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Swap session runs course

The Niagara Frontier Ski Council swap has gone the way of the wooden ski. The annual event, one of the signs that winter was on its way, has been discontinued.

"It's probably run its time," said Dick Hubbard, the acting president of the sponsoring Kaybee Athletic Club.

Hubbard gave several reasons for the demise of the swap, which for years allowed Western New Yorkers to equip families inexpensively. Attendance was down, as was the sale of used equipment. Most of the selling was done by ski shops that brought in new gear, a lot of which went unsold last season.

"There's not much money anymore in what we did," said Hubbard, whose group paid coaching and travel expenses for the junior racing teams at Kissing Bridge. "We made a couple thousand dollars last year and we used to make $10,000. We spent more on advertising.

He added that people now are less likely to volunteer, leaving fewer people to run what he called a "huge undertaking. We had to hire a show manager two years ago and paid $1,000."

There are still several swaps being held in Western New York.

The Holiday Valley swap for the benefit of its junior ski, snowboard and freestyle teams will be held in conjunction with Ellicottville Fall Festival on Oct. 7-9. Equipment drop-off is Oct. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Oct. 8 from 8 to noon. The swap runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Creekside Lodge.

The hours for the Fall Festival in the village are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 8-9.

The Kissing Bridge open house and ski swap weekend will be held Nov. 11-13.

There is also the huge swap that is part of the Toronto Ski, Snowboard and Travel Show that begins a four-day run Oct. 13 at the Automotive Building at Exhibition Place.

Swap hours are 3-10 p.m. Oct. 13-14; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 15, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 16.

The highlight of the show, which will attract more than 200 exhibitors, is the Freestyle Extreme Show in which athletes will perform tricks off a 30-foot ski jump. For information, visit www.torontoskishow.com.

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The Buffalo Ski Club, which purchased Tamarack last year, will show off its expanded facilities at an open house Oct. 1-2 from 1 to 5 p.m.

The open house will be held in the Tamarack Lodge off Route 240.

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The Ski Club of Lockport will hold its first Ski Clothing Equipment and Resort Trade Show at the Holiday Inn in Lockport on Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

The club (www.scol.bfn.org) plans trips to local and national ski areas.

e-mail: fdoyle@buffnews.com

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