Outdoors

Election-time ad rates prompt cancellation of Seattle ski show

A teen scales a climbing wall at the 2015 Ski Dazzle show at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field Event Center. The organizer canceled the 2016 event because it couldn’t afford advertising at inflated election-time rates.
A teen scales a climbing wall at the 2015 Ski Dazzle show at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field Event Center. The organizer canceled the 2016 event because it couldn’t afford advertising at inflated election-time rates. chill@thenewstribune.com

An avalanche of political advertising has wiped out this year’s Seattle ski and and snowboard show.

A show organizer said the Ski Dazzle Seattle Ski and Snowboard Show, planned for Nov. 5-6, was canceled because promoters can’t afford television, newspaper and radio advertising at higher election-time rates. Election Day is Nov. 8.

“We have a reputation to protect, and we don’t want to get lost in all of the political advertising,” said Judy Gray, co-owner of Ski Dazzle, a California-based company that stages multiple shows each year. “Plus all the advertising has been scooped up by political parties.”

In the 38 years she’s run ski shows, Gray said, this is the first time organizers have canceled a show because of an election.

A heated presidential campaign coupled with a gubernatorial election and other political races meant it was hard to find advertising time in the weeks before the election, she said.

What they did find was twice and sometimes four times what they usually pay, Gray said.

“It would be like taking everything and betting it all on red,” she said. “It’s a huge, huge gamble.”

Ski Dazzle was to be staged at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. In the past, the show has drawn visitors and vendors from around the Northwest.

Finding a November date for the Seattle show is always challenging, Gray said, because promoters must work around Seattle Seahawks games and other events.

Gray said the company plans to bring the ski show back to Seattle in November 2017, but dates won’t be determined for several months.

  Comments