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>> OIA and Outdoor Retailer are offering a new benefit to OIA members. Beginning with Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, all OIA members will receive a 3 percent discount on exhibit space. Savings on a 20×20 booth space, for example, is more than $400 per year, businesses with 30×50 booth spaces will save $1,470 annually. All exhibiting companies that are current OIA members as of May 16 will be eligible for the savings. Call OIA to obtain your membership number. Simply enter this number in the space indicated on the 2003 Summer Market Exhibit Space Contract sent to you by Outdoor Retailer — and the savings will be yours. The discount will be reflected on your final invoice from Outdoor Retailer. Call OIA’s member services department at 303-444-3353, ext. 204, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for your membership number and save money!
>> Aaron Feuerstein, chairman of Malden Mills, has asked for and received a three-week extension on the deadline to raise the estimated $92 million he needs to keep control of Polartec once the company emerges from bankruptcy protection. Feuerstein now has until August 21. Insiders tell SNEWS it is likely that Feuerstein will raise the necessary funds to retain control. In related news, insiders tell SNEWS that Polartec has been ramping up production and been hiring staff to meet increased demand.
>> Big City Mountaineers, a volunteer organization devoted to mentoring urban youth during wilderness trips, will be releasing its remaining corporate volunteer spots on May 15. 2003 marks the largest season in BCM’s 14-year history, with 23 trips planned in Colorado, California, Washington, New Hampshire and Virginia. This year also represents the greatest number of industry volunteers giving back to their communities through participating in BCM’s eight-day trips. During 2003, corporations participating in BCM trips include Cascade Designs, W.L Gore, GoLite, SNEWS, Mountain Hardwear, JanSport, Timberland, Clif Bar, Backpacker Magazine, VNU Expo and Outward Bound. BCM has a few spots left for corporate participation, and will be releasing these spots for other volunteers later this month. Go to www.bigcitymountaineers.org or email email@example.com for more information!
>> Outlast Technologies, Inc. has signed on as official uniform supplier of the 2003 Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colo., June 5-8. Outlast will provide Adaptive Comfort T-shirts to the 1,000-plus competing athletes, volunteers and VIPs, plus on-air announcers and VIPs will wear Outlast “Smart Fleece” pullovers. Outlast is also the title sponsor of the DynoClimb competition portion of the Teva games.
>> DuPont has made no secret that the company wants to shed itself of the DuPont Textiles & Interiors division, the one that produces Lycra-branded products. The company has also been in lengthy talks with Koch, a Wichita, Kan.-based, company that is one of the world’s largest producers of polyester. Now it looks as though DTI, which posted revenues of $6 million last year on sales of $72 million (making it the least profitable of DuPont’s operations), might actually be headed for a sale to Koch for over $5 billion. There’s no wet ink anywhere near paper now, so the deal could fall through at any time, but insiders say it is more likely than not to go forward.
>> OffRoute.com’s wholesale map program Topostore has a super in-store map stocking program — go to http://dealers.topostore.com. The in-store stock program allows retailers to create custom map sets for individual stores and order them online. OffRoute typically ships within one business day. Retailers earn 42 percent to 52 percent margin depending on the quantity ordered. OffRoute tells SNEWS that most of their savvy retailer partners are integrating the in-store stock with a web-enabled PC in the store to maximize their potential for sales outside of their local geographic area. OffRoute provides 50 state coverage of the custom topos and has recently introduced a fourth page size — 24 by 27 inches.
>> Outdoor Research has donated 24 pairs of gaiters to the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) Ridgerunner program for 2003. This program is an educational and prevention-based program to protect high use sections of the 2,169-mile Appalachian Trail, its resources and users through the recruitment, training and supervision of individuals who live and hike along the trail.
>> Climbing Magazine is launching the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI). The ARI is an industry-supported program that will systematically replace worn or inadequate belay and rappel anchors at climbing areas across the country. In partnership with The North Face and Petzl, Climbing is coordinating a network of area enthusiasts, guides, local organizations and land managers to execute the needed anchor replacements. The hardware and tools are being purchased and donated by The North Face, Petzl and Climbing collectively. The goal of the ARI is to create safe, clean anchors at the country’s most utilized crags, addressing these areas first: Rifle Mountain Park, Colo.; North Conway, N.H.; Tahquitz and Suicide, Calif.; and Red River Gorge, Ky. The ARI will replace anchors on 300 routes in 2003, and become an ongoing program. The ARI is sensitive to bolting-related issues and will only engage in replacing existing anchors.
>> L.L. Bean is buying 33 acres of land on Coskery Point in Freeport, including 1,200 feet of coastal frontage to accommodate its growing Outdoor Discovery School kayak program. Cost of the land acquisition is approximately $2.6 million.
>> In mid-April, the American Hiking Society opened the non-profit’s very first regional office in Chattanooga, Tenn. It’s a partnership position with the National Park Service — the NPS has committed to supporting AHS staff for the next five years. Jeffrey Hunter will be taking AHS’ vision of a 5,000-mile connected and protected system of trails in the southeast and turning it into a reality. The project was launched last year with a conference in north Georgia, of which REI was a lead sponsor. A second conference is planned for October 2003 in Tennessee. http://www.americanhiking.org/alliance/sai.html
>> Sospenders inflatable Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) has launchedwww.SOSPENDERS.com, the company’s new website. The website features the entire line of Sospenders PFDs, an interactive product demonstration highlighting inflation technology, as well as enhanced customer service options.
>> Randy King, new U.S. general manager at Cocoon, has been on the road since February. During his time on the road, King re-launched the Cocoon brand name, spearheaded a national ad campaign for summer 2003, visited the company’s major accounts, and opened dozens of new specialty dealers. In addition, King has assembled an experienced and motivated specialty outdoor sales representative team. This sales force spans the entire U.S. market and will handle both the Cocoon core brand as well as the travel sleepwear line — Traveler’s Tree.
>> Outdoor Retailer has promoted Andy Tompkins to the role of national sales manager and Kenji Haroutunian to senior account executive for Outdoor Retailer and Fly-Fishing Retailer. These promotions come on the heels of the recently announced departure of former national sales manager, Beth Gordon. Gordon’s last day is May 14.
>> Ruff Wear, a Bend, Ore.-based, company, is expanding its line of canine gear into the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic regions with a new sales team and strategy. Andy Molter of Brandywine River Representatives is growing the Mid-Atlantic territory, while Brandon Simmons and Mel Chrestman are expanding the South Central region. The approach comes from Geoff Peddicord, who recently joined Ruff Wear as the company’s sales manager.
>> Catherine Frost has been named director of sales and marketing for Planet Dog. Frost joins Planet Dog from Eziba’s marketing department, a multi-channel retailer of handcrafted goods from around the world, where she was the circulation director. She also spent eight years in operations and leadership training at L.L. Bean.
>> Vasque has promoted Mark Mathews to national sales manager of the Vasque Division. Mathews was most recently responsible for Vasque product development. In related news, Pacific Crest Trading has been hired as the rep group in charge of managing Vasque’s business in the Southwest region including California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. Pacific Crest Trading also represents Gregory and Sierra Designs. Dan Miller, Derek Torio and Brian Wilson will cover this territory.