Outdoor: Did you hear?…

OIA Capitol Summit scheduled for April 13-14, Red Rock Rendezvous cranks up for upcoming Vegas event, Horny Toad names winner of merchandising contest, Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer events raise $16K, plus much more...

For the week of Feb. 22-28

>> The Outdoor Industry Association’s Capitol Summit is coming up April 13-14 and is an important event that all industry leaders should attend. OIA describes the event as the industry’s best opportunity to influence policy and legislation that impact your business. Join your colleagues in Washington, D.C., this spring to increase funding for trails, parks and public lands; reduce health care costs for outdoor businesses; protect our national recreation destinations; and enhance government partnerships on getting Americans outdoors. SNEWS® will be there — will you? For more details on how to participate, visit

>> Leaders in the rock world will converge on the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas from March 18-20 for the second-annual “Mountain Gear Presents Red Rock Rendezvous.” More than 400 climbers throughout the nation are anticipated to attend the 2005 event as well as another 400 non-climbing spectators. More than 25 different crag areas have been identified for advanced, intermediate and beginning climbing clinics in multi-pitch climbing, free climbing, bouldering, sport climbing, crack climbing and placing protection. Workshop teachers include an impressive list of world-class climbers that includes: Conrad Anker, Damian Benegas, Willie Benegas, Roxanna Brock, Tommy Caldwell, Nathalie Challulua-Catlin, Greg Child, Scott Cory, Peter Croft, Malcolm Daly, Eric DeCaria, Jim Donini, Lisa Hathaway, Arno Ilgner, Chad Kellogg, Lauren Lee, Jared McMillen, Rob Owens, Shelly Presson-Dunbar, Beth Rodden, Jess Rosskelley, Mark Synnott, Sonny Trotter, Don Welsh, Josh Wharton, Heidi Wirtz and Cedar Wright. Registration is $60 per person and includes climbing clinic instruction, evening food and entertainment/parties, demos, seminars by event sponsors, slide show, pancake breakfast Sunday morning and service projects in Red Rock Canyon. Non-climbing participants can receive access to all non-clinic festivities for $30. Money raised will benefit The Access Fund, the American Alpine Club and the American Safe Climbing Association. For more information and to register, call 800-829-2009 or visit

>> Horny Toad was hopping with new merchandising ideas after sponsoring its second Dealer Merchandising Contest this fall where Water’s Edge Trading Co. in Tofte, Minn., took top prize. This year’s theme revolved around Horny Toad’s message: “Every day is an adventure,” and Water’s Edge merchandised Horny Toad product and props, including vintage license plates and suitcases, into a travel-related theme. Linda Brine of Water’s Edge said, “The display’s biggest impact was the enthusiasm it generated in our employees. When customers inquired ‘what’s new?’ or ‘what’s fun?’ it was evident that the merchandised display resulted in a high level of awareness of Horny Toad among the staff.” For its efforts, it was awarded an additional 10 percent credit toward its fall 2005 Horny Toad purchase. Runners-up included Island City Group in Minocqua, Wis., which created a front porch Halloween theme, and Appalachian Ski & Outdoors in State College, Penn., which had a women’s theme and collected donations for Breast Cancer Research. Each of the runners-up received $500 retail value worth of Horny Toad product. Horny Toad is working to support dealers’ efforts by providing a CD with images of each entry to those who participated in the contest and has produced the “Blueprint for Merchandising” brochure with merchandising techniques and ideas.

>> People were a-rompin’ and a-stompin’ at two separate “Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer” snowshoe series events, raising more than $16,000 to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Coordinated by Tubbs Snowshoes and affiliates of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the events included a snowshoe fun run and easy snowshoe walk. All the money raised will be given to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and its local affiliates to benefit breast cancer research, education and screening. “Women are getting the message about snowshoeing and all of its fitness, social and spiritual benefits,” said Kathy Murphy, general manager of Tubbs. “It’s great that we have such a great forum to highlight our sport and make a difference for a cause that is so near and dear to too many of us.” The third-annual Romp event at Mountain Dell Golf Course in Utah raised more than $9,000 and drew 220 participants. The second-annual Romp at White River West Sno-Park to benefit Oregon and southwest Washington affiliates of the Komen Foundation attracted 200 people and raised $7,000. National event sponsors included Columbia Sportswear and Green Mountain Coffee, while local area sponsors included Dan’s Foods, Einstein’s Bagels, Sports-Am, Re-max, Q104 and the USDA Forest Service.

>> Although the National River Cleanup Week 2005 is a few months away — May 14-22 — organizers have a long list of sponsors lined up and expect more than 400 organizations to register the cleanups. New for 2005 is a focus on educating and involving children in the effort. A contest for students will ask them to respond to the question “Where does the trash come from?” to broaden the educational reach of the event. There are also prizes of canoes, kayaks and other gear for cleanup groups participating in a photo and publicity contest. “Educating people about the sources of litter and pollution in our rivers is the first step in cleaning up our waterways,” said David Brown, chairman of National River Cleanup Week. “In just a couple of hours a dozen volunteers can collect a mountain of litter from one mile of shoreline. It’s a great lesson in the role of individual responsibility in keeping our rivers free of trash and debris.” This year’s outdoor industry supporters include Old Town, Extrasport, Wilderness Systems, Thule, Lotus, Watermark, Hooked on the Outdoors, Canoe & Kayak, Paddler and the Shimoda Group. America Outdoors, the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation return as the event’s major sponsors. Additional support is provided by W.L. Gore & Associates, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and a grant from the Trull Foundation. Event registration is free and includes customized trash bags, a Stewardship Manual with tips on conducting and organizing a cleanup, sample press releases and safety information. For more information or to register, visit or call 865-558-3595.

>> Coordinated by SnowSports Industries America (SIA), TransWorld Media and Mountain Sports Media, the second-annual Snow Industry Summit is scheduled for March 29 to April 1 at the Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado. With attendance open to suppliers, retailers, media and other industry associates, the snowsport event will offer 12 seminars and three keynote speakers, with social events and slope time also scheduled during the four days. For the second year in a row, W.L. Gore & Associates has signed on as a gold sponsor. Other event sponsors include DaKine, Manzella and Angry Associates. For more details, check out

>> Thorlos partnered with Backpacker magazine to sponsor a silent auction of outdoor gear at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, with all proceeds benefiting the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Fund. The sock maker also hosted its sock trade-in with a twist — $1 was donated to the National Trails Fund for each pair traded in. All told, $3,000 was donated to the fund.

>> The crowd was so big they were turning people away the 2005 Winter Trails Day event held at Rocky Mountain National Park. Hosted by the Estes Park Resort Association, the event drew about1,000 people from the Denver/Boulder area, and most were first-time snowshoers. That’s an ideal turnout for a program designed to introduce new people to snowshoeing and/or cross-country skiing. In its 10th year, Winter Trails is a consumer outreach component of Winter Feels Good, the national public awareness campaign that promotes the health, fitness and social benefits of snowsports, organized by Snowsports Industries America (SIA). Reps from Atlas, MSR, Redfeather and Tubbs provided free snowshoeing demos, and a local REI store provided expertise and hot chocolate to a crowd that grew so large at one point that the U.S. Forest Service had to turn cars away due to lack of space for parking.

>> Hooked on the Outdoors has been on a promotion and hiring tear recently. Doug Schnitzspahn has been promoted from senior editor to executive editor, and will be responsible for “everything” from the magazine’s feature stories to overseeing the office while Editor-in-Chief Nancy Coulter-Parker is on maternity leave (March to May 2005). Marshall McKinney has been brought on as an in-house art director and has worked in the outdoor industry extensively. Abe Hayes has been promoted from senior advertising director to advertising director, and Paul Abbate has been promoted from account executive to sales manager. Also, the Hooked Village tour has hired Kelly Miller and Victor Rand as assistant tour managers. They will assist in event set-up, meeting and greeting consumers, introducing participants to Hooked on the Outdoors magazine, and educating attendees on sponsors’ products. Both are outdoor enthusiasts with various retail and outdoor industry experience.

>> Backpacker magazine has promoted Charina Regino to marketing director and named Kristin Duby marketing coordinator. Regino was formerly Backpacker’s senior marketing manager and has worked for O, The Oprah Magazine and Men’s Health. Duby has worked on Backpacker’s as sales staff for the last year.

>> The North Face has appointed Joe Flannery as its new vice president of marketing. With more than 15 years of industry-related experience and consumer products marketing, Flannery helped found an in-line skate company which sold to Bauer / Nike. He then joined Bauer / Nike and held various progressive marketing positions. Following that, he held various positions in product development, business development, account management and marketing communications at adidas. Most recently, he was responsible for lifestyle footwear and apparel as global director of the sports heritage division at adidas.

>> Ruff Wear is expanding its sales force in many regions. In the Midwest, Judy Bard will handle Illinois and Missouri, Susan Lutz will cover Indiana and Michigan, and Julie Weeks will head up North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Cynthia Farris-Kelly is covering North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. In the west, David Lane and Dana Lynn Davol Muxen will be representing Ruff Wear in northern California, northern Nevada and Hawaii. Ruff Wear has expanded current representative Dave Cockburn’s territory to include New Mexico in addition to southern California, southern Nevada and Arizona. In the east, Andy Molter will add Virginia to his territory, which currently spans Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Fifteen independent sales reps now cover the entire country for Ruff Wear.