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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

The Olympic Winter Games will begin in little more than a month, but already the excitement is starting to build. As hosts to the Games, we Utahns have the added benefit of not only watching the competitions, but participating in many of the activities the Games will bring. I’m looking forward to one event in particular. No, it’s not a sport but the popular pastime of pin trading.

Actually, it’s more than a simple pastime. It’s serious business. Ron Toth, owner of Pin Pardners International and coordinator for the Salt Lake City Pin Show in Crossroads Mall, certainly agrees. These days, Ron spends his time—almost all of it—buying, trading and selling pins. The store, which opened just after Thanksgiving and will remain open through March following the Paralympics, will only get busier. But that’s alright with Ron. After all, pin trading is his passion, and the upcoming Games will undoubtedly spark a trading frenzy that Ron and other pin traders will welcome.

I visited Ron at his store where he told me that he began collecting and trading pins while vacationing with his family at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. There, he bought a few pins as souvenirs and immediately discovered the thrill after trading with several collectors. Ron moved to Utah in 1996 and later formed Pin Pardners International. For the last few years, he’s been writing a monthly newsletter. But lately, with the Games nearing, Ron has focused solely on trading. There are thousands of pins at the Salt Lake City Pin Show, ranging in price from $5 to rare designs and sets worth up to $300. There are pins celebrating sponsors and licensees, designs featuring law enforcement and prior Olympic events. Ron even has a selection of Olympic charms for bracelets.

Well, I was thrilled to tell Ron that Zions Bank will offer pins to trade as well. Zions has created a set of pins that feature the letters Z ­ I ­ O ­ N- S combined with several images representing the culture of Utah. The pins will be available at branches of Zions Bank throughout the state, and I look forward to collecting the set along with other pins of the Olympic Winter Games.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I’m speaking on business.

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