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Outdoor Retailer Summer Market '05 Update — Open Air Demo, beer gardens and sweet revenge at the dunking tank

SNEWS® offers up its list of must-attend events, seminars and parties at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

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Open Air Demo meets outdoor festival at Willard Bay
The Open Air Demo has moved to Willard Bay State Park, which promises to offer up 9,900 acres of fresh water atop the Great Salt Lake flood plain. We’re told that OAD attendees will discover smooth sandy beachfront, ample parking, shelter for eating, relaxing and getting out of the sun. There will be free shuttles, camping, fishing and swimming this year — so no need to perform the “Gee, I just fell out of the boat” routine to get around scowling rangers like you’ve done the last several years.

Naturally, the SNEWS® team will be all over the demo and we humbly offer up these recommendations for can’t-go-wrong visits:

Mountain Hardwear Base Camp Beer Garden — We’ve been told the taps will be flowing free beer from noon until the end of the demo. Mountain Hardwear athletes will also be on hand and attendees will be able to test the company’s new backpack line — but will it be keg ready? That’s the burning question.

Thule-Que — Thule is returning to OAD with the “Thule-Que,” where good barbeque eats will be available all day long — just follow your nose to the BBQ area.

Remo Drum Circles — What’s a Drum Circle? The folks at Remo say — it’s easy, it’s fun and it’s for you, your friends, staff and family. No experience is necessary and Remo will provide hand drums, shakers, tambourines and lots of other fun percussion — or bring your own instruments. We suggest trying this after visiting the Mountain Hardwear beer garden.

Yakima’s Roots-Racks-Reggae Jam from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring a local SLC band, Natural Roots.

The SNEWS® team is continually weeding through all the press release fluffery and mounds of show announcements to bring you only the events we believe are really worth the time. To that end, mark your calendars for the following, in this, our final Summer Market preview:

Events and must-attend meetings

>> Want a free pair of Keen Antigua flip-flops? Or a Black Diamond headlamp? Then head to the Keen booth (5326) on Friday, Aug. 12, at 5 p.m. to celebrate Keen’s partnership with The Conservation Alliance. All you have to do is donate $10 or more to the Conservation Alliance to receive your headlamp, $20 or more to receive a pair of Keen flip-flops, or $30 or more to get both — we know, sounds like an infomercial, but the cause is a good one.

>> Ahhh…massages for your tired trade show dogs. Fox River is offering free foot massages and sock exchange for retailers and media at booth 1801. Drop by between 1 and 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, or between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 12-13.

>> Woof! Ruff Wear’s furry, four-legged friends demonstrate the latest high-performance gear while jumping, panting, splashing and frolicking at the paddle tank on Friday, Aug. 12, and Saturday, Aug. 13, from 2:30 to 3 p.m. Prizes will be awarded. We caught this show last year and it is a must-see, we promise.

>> Not too many book signings catch our eyes these days, but we have to admit owning a “Classic Hikes of the World” signed by author Peter Potterfield is worth the time — 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12, at the Outdoor Research booth (1313).

>> Get your lazy butts out of bed and out to the AM/OR Nordic walking and running demos Aug. 11-14 from 6:30 a.m. until the last walk departing at 8 a.m. at the South Plaza corner outside the Salt Palace. Look for the Leki tent, smell the fresh-brewed coffee, and enjoy all the free swag! The event, co-sponsored by Leki, Swix, Exel and Brooks, offers up a great way to start each day instead of being cooped up in the hotel gym or going for a solo run! But wait, there’s more. If you are one of the first 20 participants each morning, you’ll receive a nifty grab bag containing products from Thorlo, LRI/Photon Micro-Light, Aloe Up, National Geo Adventure Magazine and Katadyn.

>> Jetboil is unveiling its new Group Cooking System (GCS) with a group cooking contest on the first day of the show. Jetboil has invited NOLS alumni to compete against their former NOLS instructors to see which team can create the most appetizing group-sized feast from a given list of ingredients. The contest will be held at noon on Aug. 11 at the Rock & Ice “Climbing Zone” area (near the 200 and 300 aisles), and will be judged by a panel of experts including Jon Dorn, executive editor of Backpacker magazine; Dennis Lewon, gear editor at Outside magazine; and Alison Osius, executive editor of Rock & Ice magazine and columns editor for Trail Runner.

Party scene

>> Outstanding! “Fosters and Vegemite” on Friday at the Crumpler booth and the company tells us that it is “Cracking the tinnies around 4ish sharp!” And no, Fosters is NOT Australian for beer. Apparently, the company couldn’t get VB (Victoria Bitter) and didn’t want to run the risk of being hung, drawn and quartered by the Utah Mafia for smuggling in “non-sanctioned” beer to the show, so it elected to go with Fosters. The company representatives also want naïve Americans to know that the vegemite doesn’t go in the beer; rather, the delicious spread will be served on watercress crackers. All a bit posh really!

>> Grab your best bowling attire, practice your Big Lebowski routine and join us in supporting Leave No Trace. There’ll be beer, pizza and music, along with your industry friends and colleagues and plenty of opportunities to shout, “You’re out of your element, Donny!” When? August 11, the first night of OR, from 7-9 p.m. Participants already include: Big Agnes, Leave No Trace, Polartec, Cloudveil, Black Diamond, PrimaLoft, Backpacker Magazine, Honey Stinger, Backpacker’s Pantry, Paddler Magazine, Granite Gear, Mountain Khakis, Indigo Equipment, Tilley Endurables, Osprey, The North Face, Vasque, W.L. Gore and Backbone Media. There is one catch! To get involved, please RSVP to Katie Cavicchio by email to Otherwise, they can’t guarantee two-toned, pleather bowling shoes in your size.

>> Feeling wronged by someone in the outdoor industry? A former boss, lazy employee, pesky salesperson, heavy-handed editor or freelancer/contractor who never meets a deadline? Well, it’s time for revenge! Nominate that person to be dunked in the Dunk Tank at this year’s Hooked on the Outdoors party, Friday, Aug. 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The carnival-themed Happy Hour will feature free beer, free gear and tunes by Cowboy Mouth and will be held at the South Entrance Pavilion. All dunking nominees will be announced at the party with “winners” chosen according to crowd applause. Nominate now by emailing the name of the “dunkee,” the company they work for and the reason that person should be dunked (optional). And, of course, we need your name as well. Remember, this is all in fun! Fire off your nomination by email to — with the subject line: DUNKING NOMINATION. During the first two days of the show, nomination forms will also be available at the Hooked booth (65).

>> It’s all about the wine — as in Veramonte, the Chilean wine that is trying to market itself as the ideal outdoor wine. Begin with a full fashion show and cocktail reception sponsored by Chilean wine producer, Veramonte, and Outside magazine, hosted by Cloudveil on Aug. 12 from 7-9 p.m. at Club Vortex. And then follow it up the next night, from 7-9 p.m. with the Action Adventure Party featuring wine tastings by Veramonte and a silent auction to benefit “Leave No Trace.” High ticket items will be donated, including a Napa Valley dinner and vineyard tour with Veramonte Estate Director Riccardo Mora. Singer Edwin McCain will perform at 9 p.m.