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What did the SNEWS team read this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out.
- Outdoor Retailer isn’t the only trade show contemplating a move. The Wall Street Journal reports that a glut in convention space across the country (up 35 percent), coupled with a weak economy has created a highly competitive playing field, with cities offering numerous incentives to snatch conventions and trade shows from one another.
- Kudos to GearInstitute.com, which recently got a shout out in Forbes from Larry Olmsted, who called it “critical and expert.” The site, co-founded by our old friend Peter Kray, has about 40 testers who are each experts in the products they test. It offers reviews on items for various activities including skiing, backpacking, camping, climbing, running, outdoor technology and fishing.
- We have to say that reading Graham Averill’s account of his narrow escape from the Grim Reaper on his Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race was a highlight of our week. Averill’s race included freezing toes protected by sandwich baggies and attempts to convince fellow bad-ass riders that The Little Pony was an “edgy cartoon.”
- Granite Gear is making out like a bandit. The company recently announced it’s expanding its operations near its headquarters in Two Harbors, Minn., mostly because of increased demand due to military contracts. Check out this Star Tribune story about the company and its expanding business.
- Do you know the origin of the word “Patagonia”? According to this Telegraph article, it derives from “patagones,” the name given to the tall native Tehuelche people in South America by Ferdinand Magellan during the early 16th century. Author Chriss Moss writes, “It might mean ‘big feet,’ but is probably an allusion to a ‘dog-headed monster’ in the Spanish romance Primaleón. Either way, it was a magical-sounding name for a faraway land.” This story chronicles Moss’ visit and gives recommendations on how to get the most out of your trip.
- It’s no wonder “working in the outdoor industry” equals “living the dream” — this Trentonian story reports the findings from an Outdoor Industry Association study that found outdoorsy people are more satisfied with their lives than … um … indoorsy people.
- Some of us maintain our outdoor fitness regimen no matter where we travel and whatever the weather, but this Statesman Journal story reports that hotels are noticing a trend of guests who’d rather work out in the fresh air rather than a fitness facility, no matter how fancy and modern it is. Many hotels have been providing maps to local walking trails, and some have taken to providing free access to bikes and pointing guests in the direction of local parks.
- SNEWS has been reporting more and more on customizable clothing in the past year, and we were interested in this tidbit we read in Internet Retailer about Wild Things partnering with Moosejaw to let customers design their own special outdoor items. Check out the story for all the different ways this partnership will let customers customize their own apparel, including trying it on in the store and customizing it online.
- We’re pretty sure after reading this and seeing the accompanying photos that the Trekker backpack from Google is the most hard-core pack we’ve seen. The pack and 360-degree camera recently went out for a spin to gather images with Google operations manager Steve Silverman on the Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Trail.
- Whatever one’s views on Lance Armstrong, at this point it’s like everybody is circling to kick him when he’s down. This Pace Per Mile post notes that his times in the Boston and New York City Marathons are going to be erased from the record books. The USA Track and Field are required to follow rulings of the USADA to expunge all performance records.
Have you read anything interesting you’d like to share with us? Maybe we’ll include it next week’s column with a little shout out to whoever sent it to us. Send a link to the story with the subject line “SNEWS Reads” to be considered.