Outdoor: Did you hear?… Land and Water Conservation Fund needs support, plus The North Face, National River Cleanup, and more

Land and Water Conservation Fund in jeapordy, VF Outdoor to lease new distribution facility, talking trash wins kids boats, Rock and Ice sponsors Ouray, Outside magazine hosts sailing regatta, used sporting goods sales on the rise, and much, much more

For the week of July 12-18

>> Outdoor Industry Association sent out an alert that members of the House and Senate will meet in the coming weeks to decide how much money the federal government will invest in close-to-home recreation through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance Program. Stateside LWCF, one of the federal government’s most successful federal/state partnerships, is in jeopardy of being eliminated. Stateside LWCF provides states and local communities with matching funds for investment in parks, trails and other recreation infrastructure. Fortunately, the Senate Interior Subcommittee, restored $30 million to this important program, OIA said. After surviving attempts to cut the money out of the bill, it passed the full Senate and is now headed to a House/Senate conference to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions. OIA said some conferees may try to reduce or strip the $30 million stateside allocation, so it’s urging the industry to send the pre-written email to the conferees asking them to keep every stateside dollar in the bill. Click here to take action.

>> VF Outdoor, Inc., a subsidiary of VF Corp., has signed a long-term build-to-suit lease agreement for a new 817,000-square-foot distribution and logistics facility in the MidState 99 Distribution Center, a master-planned industrial development in Visalia, Calif. The new facility will serve as the western distribution hub for VF Corp.’s Outdoor Apparel unit, which includes The North Face. Construction of the new facility will begin this month, with completion expected in June 2006. More than 350 permanent jobs will be created by the facility once it’s fully operational. The Allen Group, a major developer of industrial and office properties in the Western United States, will develop the new facility, which will feature state-of-the-art racking and distribution equipment, 40-foot clear heights, and an additional 200,000 square feet of mezzanine space for VF Corp. The Allen Group will own the completed building, which will cost an estimated $43 million to develop, and has entered into a long-term lease on the property with VF Outdoor, Inc. In addition, VF Outdoor, Inc. signed a short-term lease for 118,000 square feet in an existing building that is also located in the MidState 99 Distribution Center. Strategically located in the heart of California, the MidState 99 Distribution Center is midway between population centers Los Angeles and San Francisco. The property is adjacent to Highway 99, a major north-south artery and trucking corridor, and easily accessible by air and rail. From this location, 97 percent of all California zip codes can be served overnight by UPS ground service.

>> “Talking trash” came in handy for a few kids during the 2005 National River Cleanup. By offering his opinion that trash on his nearby Presumpscot River comes from “careless people who think that the world is their trash can,” Jordan Voisine, a 7th grader from Portland, Maine, has won an Old Town Kayak and Extrasport paddle. Other winners of the “Where Does the Trash Come From?” student competition and photo contests for organizers are receiving Wilderness Systems kayaks and other prizes provided by this year’s sponsors. More than 40,580 volunteers covered 9,223 river miles during the week’s 324 river cleanups. The mission of National River Cleanup Week is to raise public awareness of the magnitude of trash accumulating in the nation’s waterways and to promote citizen actions against illegal dumping. Additional support for the event was provided by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and US Forest Service. To view winning competition entries, click here.

>> CTC Groupe, a provider of technical services to the footwear industry, has formed a global collaboration with U.S.-based BioMechanica, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in athletic footwear research and development. They will share technology and resources, collaborate on the development of new materials and product concepts, and jointly market their services worldwide. Through the agreement, BioMechanica will add state-of-the-art testing facilities in Europe and Asia to its resource pool, and provide clients with a transition from research and development in the United States to production in Asia. At the same time, CTC Groupe’s clients will have access to expertise in athletic footwear, biomechanics and product innovation. Headquartered in Lyon, France, CTC Groupe has a team of 150 footwear and leather goods products experts working in offices and test laboratories throughout Europe and Asia. Portland, Ore.-based, BioMechanica supports numerous U.S. athletic footwear brands with independent and advanced research, product development and testing services. Â

>> The North Face has big plans internationally for the second half of 2005. It’s launching five flagship stores in Europe via partnerships with area dealers in Copenhagen, Denmark; Madrid, Spain; Manchester, UK; Munich, Germany; and Val d’Isere, France. The Manchester store will open Sept. 1 in partnership with Ellis Brigham, and be its largest store in Europe with more than 1,600 feet of selling space. The new Manchester shop will also be the first TNF store to incorporate a refrigerated 26-foot ice-climbing wall. In addition to the five planned new openings, the brand has also just renovated and expanded its flagship store in Livigno, Italy, and more than doubled its original selling space. Operated in partnership with Mottini Sport, it re-opened in mid-July. With these five new stores, TNF will have11 locations in Europe since the brand first launched its Retail Partnership program in June 2003. TNF said eight more European locations are planned by year’s end.

>> Rock and Ice Magazine has hooked up with the Ouray Ice Festival as its exclusive magazine sponsor in 2006. As part of the sponsorship deal, Rock and Ice will support and promote the event. For information on attending or registering as a sponsor, visit or look for the details in upcoming issues of Rock and Ice. The 11th annual festival is Jan. 13-15.

 >> Dubbed “a friendly competition for Chicago’s advertising industry,” Outside magazine will host the first-ever Chicago Ad Cup, a sailing regatta for Chicago ad agency teams at the Columbia Yacht Club. Ten Chicago ad agencies will compete for bragging rights (and prizes, of course) while enjoying a beautiful sunset view of downtown Chicago. Sailing professionals will accompany and instruct each team on basic sailing techniques and provide assistance during the race. Chicago was picked as the race location to celebrate the city’s inclusion on Outside’s list of top 10 American dream towns in the August issue. A post-regatta celebration will follow at the Columbia Yacht Club, including food, drinks, live music and fireworks. For more information, contact Communications Director Josephine Parr at 212-972-4650 or SNEWS® View: Hmmm, a race between ad agencies? Hosted by Outside magazine? Ya think Outside has some ulterior motive here? Like endearing itself to ad agencies that might spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on magazine spreads? Positively brilliant maneuver.

>> Retail industry sales for June (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose a strong 7.5 percent unadjusted over last year and increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from May, according to the National Retail Federation. The gains, which led second quarter sales to rise 6.1 percent over 2004, were stronger than NRF said it had been expecting. June retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show that total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) rose 1.7 percent seasonally adjusted from May and increased 10.4 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Automotives and gasoline sales, categories that NRF does not include in its retail industry sales numbers, performed well last month. NRF expects retail industry sales to increase 5.4 percent this year over 2004.

>> As racers whip by on camera during the 2005 Tour de France, you may notice that cyclist Bobby Julich of Team CSC looks a bit different from the other competitors. Julich is one of the first road cyclists to move beyond the traditional water bottle and rely upon a hydration system developed by CamelBak that he wears under his skin suit. The Race Vest holds the equivalent of two water bottles and has a bite valve positioned close to the mouth for hydrating. Maybe it’s working — on the fourth day of the Tour, Julich captured second place in the Team Time Trial, just two seconds behind Lance Armstrong’s Discovery Team. Julich has been providing CamelBak with feedback on his usage and testing of the company’s hydration systems and how they can best be developed to fit a road cyclists’ needs.

>> Consumers purchased $855 million in used sporting goods equipment in 2004, according to a newly released report by the National Sporting Goods Association. Used equipment for the outdoor sports (camping, fishing and the shooting sports) represented purchases of almost $503 million, the largest single category. NSGA said much of the overall increase in 2004 can be attributed to the rise in purchases of used equipment for the outdoor sports, which had were $395 million in 2003. For 2003, consumers indicated they had purchased slightly more than $753 million in used sports equipment. The seventh-annual “Purchases of Used Sports Equipment” uses the same panel as is used for NSGA’s “Sporting Goods Market” report. The report is based on a survey of 60,000 households in which 39 products were surveyed regarding purchases during 2004.

>> The McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group has added three world-class athletes to provide expert freestyle experience to its design and marketing services for whitewater park project managers. Jimmy Blakeney, Jay Kincaid and Tanya Shuman, accomplished veterans of international freestyle competition, are assisting civil engineer Rick McLaughlin, P.E. and whitewater park designer John Anderson. Their past experience has created courses that look natural when dry, tailored designs to meet unique needs and managed major fluctuation in flows without the need for repair or maintenance.  For more information on the McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group, contact Risa Shimoda at
>> Rainier Mountaineering Inc. (RMI), is taking its expertise in mountain leadership international.  Beginning in September, RMI International will offer guided climbs to Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, Mexico’s volcanoes, Ecuador’s volcanoes, Vinson-Massif, Mount Elbrus and Aconcagua. RMI said the new international program boasts one of the highest guide to client ratios in the mountain guiding industry and promises an exceptional level of personal attention and an increased likelihood of attaining participant’s goals. For more information, log onto  or call 888-892-5462.

>> Buff has added UV-protecting fabrics to its headwear and visors. Starting in March 2006, all 20 visor models and 15 models of Original Buff headwear will be available in CoolMax Extreme fabric, which offers UPF protection of between 20 and 50, depending on the design of the fabric. UPF 20 blocks more than 94 percent of UV rays. Buff said the UPF rating is tested by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, known for leading the way in UV protective fabrics. For more info, visit or call 707-665-9009.

>> Camelbak Europe is joining the European Outdoor Group (EOG) in an effort to continue developing its European business. The company said the timing couldn’t be better because CamelBak is introducing its first collection of hydration daypacks especially for the European outdoor market. The 2006 collection is called Asymetrix and was engineered in the French Alps. For further information, check out

>> Following on the heels of it landing the Thule account, Kahl & Partners has hired George Knaggs to assist with the territory. The rep agency said “contrary to some reports that Knaggs took a job with Yakima, he will immediately start working most of his former Thule territory with Kahl & Partners.” Knaggs has worked with Thule for more than nine years and will still handle his other existing accounts. He’s available at 303-410-1166, ext. 104, or