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Where does the money go?



First a few words of clarification. The Sandia Peak Ski Patrol is a volunteer organization

dedicated to the rescue and administration of first aid to injured persons; the education and

training of the Patrol members in first aid, tobogganing, and other necessary skills; and the

promotion of skiing/snowboarding safety and courtesy. The Patrol is funded almost exclusively

by the proceeds of our annual SKI SWAP. All of our services on the hill are free of charge.


The way SWAP works is the Patrol sells equipment on consignment. We sell your equipment

for whatever price you want and then we keep a 15% commission (17% for commercial

vendors). Because we take in quite a bit of money, people have reasonably asked “where does

it all go?” Since our tax records are public record, you can go look it up, but to save you the

trouble I will share the information in terms of how much we must sell at SWAP annually to run



(The Event Itself)


SWAP is expensive to put on. The gross income from SWAP is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, however, most of that goes out to the vendors selling their goods and about $64,000 to put on the event (in 2012). This left about $46,000 to run the Patrol for the season. This seems like quite a bit, but any less and the patrol would operate in the red.




Each toboggan costs $1,200 which equates to about $7,000 worth of sales at SWAP. We have

10 toboggans stationed around the area. We need $6,000 in SWAP sales to maintain them, and as they "age", newer toboggan need to be purchased.




Have you ever given much thought to how you would get out of the chair if the lift broke down?

Fortunately, we have and we practice this skill regularly. We have 20 evacuation packs which

we deploy along the lift line with a system of ropes and a really swell little chair that we hang on

the cable to belay you to the ground. Each of these packs cost about $650. Each pack represents

about $3,800 in sales. Do you have any idea how much colder everyone would get if we had to

take just one pack out of service. Again, as the rope and gear in these packs "ages", they need to be replaced.




Fortunately we only meet most of you socially. Those of you whom we’ve met professionally

may have noticed there is no charge for any of the services rendered by the Patrol. The medical

supplies that we use during the year cost about $5,000 or just under $30,000 in SWAP sales.




When I first started skiing at Sandia Peak, it was called La Madera. If you were injured,

someone had to ski to the bottom and get a patroller. The patroller would ride up the lift with

a toboggan and ski it down to you. Once at the bottom, the only way to a hospital was to get

someone to drive you to the city. If this seems like hours and hours from the time of the injury

until you could see a doctor, it was. Later, telephones were installed at several places on the

mountain. (There are still a couple of red phone boxes up there.) With the advent of phones, we

could station a patroller at the top of the mountain with a toboggan. This cut our response time

quite a bit. Today, due entirely to the largess of our SWAP customers, every patroller carries

a radio capable of communicating clearly from any place on the mountain. With these radios,

patrollers no longer have to wait to be notified of an incident, they are continuously cruising the

mountain looking for problems. They can launch a helicopter or order a Paramedic unit right

from the incident site, keep the paramedics updated on patient status and if necessary receive

verbal assistance from a physician. The only reason this system exists is because local snow

sports enthusiasts came to SWAP and bought their equipment. That current radio system cost $14,627

or $86,000 in SWAP sales. It costs almost $6,000 in sales each year to maintain the system (buy batteries, and replace broken/lost radios).




The Sandia Peak Ski Patrol exists because of the purchases YOU make at SWAP. Anyone may

bring in gear to sell at SWAP. Granted, there are a number of commercial vendors there, but we

pay out around $35,000 per year to private individuals who bring their gear in to sell. The kids’

stuff is always a huge good deal as the munchkins grow out of their gear every year, and there

is always a lot of almost new kids’ gear. We are excellent stewards with the money earned, and

remember, as opposed to the commercial vendors out there in town, you can always see our books as we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit.