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For the week of Nov. 16-22
>> The U.S. Green Building Council announced that REI’s new Portland store has received a LEEDR (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Commercial Interiors Gold Rating, making it the first retail store in the country to achieve this standard. LEEDR is a voluntary green building rating system that evaluates environmental performance from a whole building perspective over a building’s life cycle, measuring how “green” a building is. With the LEEDR system, credits are earned for satisfying various green criteria, and different levels of green building certification are awarded based on total credits earned. REI worked closely with Mithun, an architecture, design and planning firm that specializes in sustainable specialty retail design, on the Portland store. The 37,500-square-foot store occupies the first two floors of a new10-story mixed-use building, with residential lofts above. Materials manufactured locally and with high-recycled content are used throughout the store. Fixtures are constructed of non-formaldehyde composite wood. Low-water use fixtures in restrooms reduce consumption by 32 percent. Natural light is brought into the store through high windows and skylights and photo cells shut down electric lighting when ambient light is sufficient — reducing lighting power by 26 percent. Where paint is necessary, only non-VOC emitting types were used, and the carpet’s VOC emissions are below the limits set by the Carpet and Rug Institute. And, 96 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled as the store was built.
>> Construction is well underway on the Adventure Sports Center International, a self-contained whitewater course, after members of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Whitewater Slalom Team scooped ceremonial earth from a mountain-sized excavator during the center’s groundbreaking ceremony. Unlike most manmade courses that feel like concrete canals, the project is employing techniques that will take advantage of the existing geology and creating a re-circulating course that resembles a natural river. Hydraulic features will be “adjustable” and dialed in to fit paddlers’ needs for performance, variety and user-friendliness. The project is being handled by the McLaughlin Rincón Design Team, with Risa Shimoda (yes, the former ED of American Whitewater) handling marketing and brand promotion. For more information, contact Shimoda at 301-585-4677 or email@example.com.
>> Marmot has been named the event sponsor for the North American Championships of the Randonnee Rally Race Series in Jackson Hole, Wyo., March 26, 2005. The Mountain Hardwear, Life-Link/Dynafit Randonnee Rally Race Series is made up of five races that test competitors’ skiing skills in some of the toughest terrain and culminates in the North American Championships. The Marmot North American Championships will be the only race sanctioned by the American Alpine Club, the Canadian Alpine Club and the International Ski Mountaineering Council (ISMC). In addition to Marmot, series sponsors include Mountain Hardwear, Arc’Teryx, Cloudveil, Outdoor Research, Petzl, Couloir Magazine, Backcountry Magazine, Ibex, Off-Piste Magazine, Crazy-Creek, Suunto, Croakies, Daggers, Clif Bar, Honey Stinger, Adventure Medical Kits and Buff Headwear.
>> 180s, the maker of ear warmers among other accessories, said that a federal judge in Baltimore has issued a preliminary injunction on its behalf against J.C. Penney and Drew Pearson Marketing, a business-to-business wholesale commerce distributor. The injunction is for alleged infringement of two of 180s’ patents relating to wrap-behind-the-head ear warmer products, and prohibits the further sale of an ear warmer called “Ear Wrap by Free Country” by J.C. Penney and Drew Pearson. According to the lawsuit, 180s discovered that J.C. Penney had begun selling the Ear Wrap product. J.C. Penney is a former customer of 180s and had sold 180s ear warmers for two years. The suit states that as a former customer, J.C. Penney was aware of 180s’ intellectual property rights relating to wrap-behind-the-head ear warmers, and that 180s specifically notified J.C. Penney in writing of 180s’ ear warmer patents. Even so, the suit alleges, J.C. Penney and Drew Pearson chose to market and sell the accused Ear Wrap product. In granting the preliminary injunction, the court ruled that 180s is likely to succeed on the merits of its patent infringement claims. The suit also alleges that the actions of J.C. Penney and Drew Pearson were willful and requests that the court award 180s enhanced damages and its attorney’s fees and costs.
>> Gordini socks using Lavawool fiber have been approved by W.L. Gore for use with footwear made of Gore-Tex fabric. Introduced this year, Lavawool combines the performance of wool with the comfort of fleece to wick moisture better than traditional wool and disperse moisture more efficiently than cotton socks. After being tested by Gore, the supplier said the fiber is an ideal match because of its wicking and dispersion capabilities. “When Lavawool was submitted to our testing facility we evaluated its breathability, moisture management and dry-out time. In all three areas, Gordini’s Lavawool fiber performed well and exceeded Gore’s high specifications,” said Domenic Sciamanna, accessories product specialist. “We believe the benefits provided by Gore-Tex footwear can be optimized if the user is wearing a sock made with the Lavawool fiber.” Gordini plans to add Lavawool to all of its hosiery.
>> With 28 percent sales growth from last year and increased awareness of snowshoeing as a sport throughout the nation, Redfeather is donating 2.5 percent of overall sales to a variety of deserving organizations, donating snowshoes to charitable organizations, and partnering with several school programs across the country. “We recognize the need to keep our society active through the winter months,” said Allan Kettlehut, president of Redfeather. “By donating our snowshoes to various programs and fundraising events, we are hoping to increase the level of awareness of the sport and promote how easy it is to stay physically active.” Redfeather has partnered with several programs and organizations throughout the country, like the Special Olympics and Winter Trails Day, and is also working with the Snowshoes-for-Schools Program. The program allows Redfeather to team up with schools throughout the country to offer its snowshoes as part of their core physical education curriculums and take advantage of the Physical Education for Progress Act (PEP), which has helped schools buy new equipment for their PE curriculum. Also, Redfeather is participating in a pilot program with Snowsports Industries of America (SIA) in Pennsylvania where they are educating students and teachers about the benefits of outdoor exercise in the wintertime and introducing them to snowshoeing. The snowshoe-maker has also donated hundreds of snowshoes to fundraising events for The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Outward Bound, Mountain Rescue, Women’s Wilderness Institute, Middle Park Land Trust and Bureau of State Parks, and the National Sports Center for the Disabled.
>> VNU’s Andy Tompkins has been promoted to show director of the Outdoor Retailer and Fly-Fishing Retailer trade shows, assuming the day-to-day responsibility of sales and marketing for the events. Tompkins has been with VNU and Outdoor Retailer since 1996, and most recently held the position of national sales manager for the Outdoor Retailer and Fly-Fishing Retailer shows.
>> Planet Dog has hired Bill Franklin as CEO. Franklin brings more than 30 years of business experience in sales and marketing, operations and customer service working for both small and large companies in various stages of development. Planet Dog has also entered a partnership with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to raise $10,000 via sales from its Ribbon Ringo program.
>> Jim Stanley has joined SMS Clothing, an apparel maker for the youth freeride ski market, as its Midwest sales rep, covering Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and upper Michigan. Stanley also reps for Nordica, Boeri Helmets and Sun Valley Ski Tools. He’s available at 715-386-6220 or Jstanley@nordicausa.com.
>> George Cattermole, president and CEO of Outlast since October 2000, has announced his intention to retire sometime in the first quarter of 2005, as soon as his replacement can be hired. Cattermole will remain on the company’s board. Cattermole told SNEWS® that the time is right for him to retire now, as the company is profitable with positive cash flow and growing revenues. Cattermole, who will be 64 in June 2005, joined the Outlast board in January 2000, shortly after having made a first pass at retirement following a successful 33-year career with DuPont. When he retired from DuPont, he was the director of corporate marketing for the company.
>> With the retirement of marketing VP Kerry Marumoto, Smith Optics said it has reevaluated its organizational mix and restructured. A new product department has been formed, and will be headed by Eric Carlson, who has been with Smith for nine years. As director of product and merchandising, Carlson will oversee all aspects of product management and development. Carlson’s former job of sunglass product manager is currently open, and Smith is seeking candidates. Christine Gould, formerly the marketing resources manager, will shift duties slightly, and focus on retail displays and collateral as the visual merchandising manager. Ben Flandro, formerly marketing coordinator, has been promoted to fill the position of goggle product manager, replacing Daryl Price. Tag Kleiner is now heading the marketing department, and will continue to oversee all promotions managers, and direct all marketing and promotional efforts. In other news, Smith is relocating its accessories program to its Southern California office in San Clemente, and is looking to fill the new accessories manager position.