Outdoor Trade Shows

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market ’10: Show highlights and one lowlight

If there were any doubts at all about lingering industry doldrums, they were erased during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, held August 3-6, 2010, as smiles, laughter and energy abounded. It was a marked change from the somewhat somber aisles of 2009, to be sure. SNEWS has exclusive trends reports, photos, and TV episodes inside.

If there were any concerns at all about lingering industry doldrums, they were erased during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, held August 3-6, 2010, as smiles, laughter and energy abounded. It was a marked change from the somewhat somber aisles of 2009, to be sure. Kenji Haroutunian, group show director for Outdoor Retailer, told SNEWS® that with 980 exhibitors representing approximately 1,030 brands, the show’s overall attendance neared 2008’s record-high attendance numbers. Though attendance is still not official until fully audited, store numbers increased by approximately 13 percent, buyer attendance was up by nearly 15 percent, and overall attendance rose approximately 16 percent — compared to Summer Market 2009.

From the SNEWS team’s perspective, this was one the first Outdoor Retailer shows in recent memory where the aisles and booths were practically devoid of grumbling, fear-mongering or complaining about either the show, business, retailers, manufacturers, reps or anything else.

Not that everything was roses and bright sunshine, though. Perhaps influenced by an economy still in flux, the impact of the recession or just an opportunity to make some additional money, insider criminal activity has apparently raised its ugly head at Outdoor Retailer. During set-up on Aug. 2, Mammut lost 16 Gore-Tex jackets, 10 ropes and about 100 pounds of assorted climbing accessories. The company told SNEWS that it estimates the theft cost Mammut between $4 million to $5 million in bookings at the show. Given the amount and weight of the product stolen, it points to a coordinated inside operation, we were told. Review of security cameras, however, revealed no suspects. On the night of Aug. 5, the Asolo/Lowe Alpine booth also was hit. The thief, or thieves, had to first move an obstruction that was blocking the booth’s entry, and then proceeded to steal a pack, with ice tools, crampons and trekking poles — all valued at $1,100. Bruce Franks told SNEWS that whoever did this clearly knew what the most expensive product was in the booth and targeted it. Little wonder, we suspect, why more companies are hiring security to stay in their booths at night, or whenever the booth is not staffed. 

Still, despite the downer of thieves amongst us, it was hard to feel anything but joy at the mood and energy at Summer Market. We had a fantastic time at this show, and hope fellow attendees reading this feel the same, too.

Our team, which also included editors from Backpacker, Climbing and Urban Climber, blanketed the show, starting with the Open Air Demo on Aug. 2 at Jordanelle State Park in Heber City, Utah. The new location offered an improved layout for just over 90 exhibitors along with a better beachfront and water experience for attendees to demo a wide range of products. Click here to read our report on stand up paddling trends that appeared in Day 1 of the SNEWS Morning Report , or here to read our quick summary wrap of the Open Air event itself that appeared in SNEWS on Aug. 9.

For a full recap of each day of the show, check out the SNEWS Morning Reports

SNEWS TV turns on the energy spigot at Outdoor Retailer

At Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, we also decided to launch a new division of SNEWS: SNEWS TV – www.outsidebusinessjournal.com/snewstv.

We invite you to enjoy a whirlwind tour through products and the show’s booths and aisles with Michael Hodgson and, in episodes launching over the next few weeks, Therese Iknoian. Pop a cold one (unless you are at work, of course), grab a notebook (so you can write down products you might want to check out later), and let us show you Outdoor Retailer Summer Market like you’ve never experienced before. But we warn you…you’ll want to buckle up, as this is no low-energy affair.

SNEWS TV also includes an exclusive interview with Rolf Reinschmidt, senior vice president of adidas global outdoor, about the launch of adidas outdoor and a great sit-down interview with Beaver Theodosakis of Prana conducted by our SNEWS Youth Reporting Team. And, look for upcoming episodes such as a fast, really fast tour of the show’s various zones with Kenji Haroutunian, and morereports from our Youth Reporting Team.

One picture is worth a thousand words…

Rather than go on and on about the show, we thought we’d let a few of our favorite photos, ones that have not run anywhere else, give you a sense of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010.

The Salt Palace glowing from how special we all made it feel during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010.

*Photo by Ben Fullerton

The YogaSlackers seemed to spend far more time upside down than right-side up.

*Photo by Ben Fullerton

During the annual Outdoor Industry Rugbypalooza, Lindsay Cousley wraps up a youthful player, while Kendra Stritch reaches in to either remove his heart (likely), strip the ball (maybe) or give a good tickle (only if the heart removal doesn’t go well).

*Photo by Stephen Barnes

Bigfoot is reportedly the original Master of Leave No Trace, which explains why he is so hard to find…other than when he parties down at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market each year.

*Photo by Ben Fullerton

The beauties of the Women of Climbing calendar signing copies for fans…talk about your hot ticket!

*Photo by Ben Fullerton

The Stanley Airstream kitchen made other RV and home kitchens five times its size look practically blase by comparison.

*Photo by Ben Fullerton

Conducting research on possible new crash pad techniques…

*Photo by Ben Fullerton

Without question, the nicest looking tent city in town with newcomer Slingfin playing the role of highrise.

*Photo by Ben Fullerton

Stand-up paddling dominated the scene, buzz and press at Open Air, with picture-perfect scenery and nearly perfect weather.

*Photo by Ben Fullerton


Well after the show floor was emptied of attendees each evening, the Gibbon slackline athletes kept at it, entertaining passersby with amazing aerobatics.

*Photo by Ben Fullerton


Each evening, under the shadow of the convention center, Summer Market attendees filled the sidewalk tables outside of The Naked Fish, enjoying summertime, where the livin’ was certainly easy.

*Photo by Ben Fullerton

Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, beginning with the Open Air Demo on Aug. 3, 2011, followed by the official Summer Market booth show inside the Salt Palace Convention Center, Aug. 4-7, 2011, in Salt Lake City. Between then and now, we’ll look forward to seeing everyone at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, Jan. 20-23, 2011, in Salt Lake City, and on Jan. 19 for the All Mountain Demo preceding the show.

–Michael Hodgson