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Grassroots Outdoor Alliance expands to 196 retail doors, as Big Agnes and Osprey join as vendor partners

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ASHEVILLE, NC (July 7, 2021) — Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the national organization dedicated to the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail, is announcing the addition of five new retail members as well as the addition of Big Agnes and Osprey as vendor partners.

The new retailers include Active Endeavors (Iowa), Bill and Paul’s (Michigan), Nomad Ventures (California), Outdoor Experience (Idaho), and Soko Outfitters (Iowa). The fivesome of new members boosts Grassroots retail roster to 96 members in 196 retail locations.

On the supplier side, the addition of Big Agnes and Osprey expands the Grassroots vendor partner community to 65.

“With the boom in all things outdoors and the solidifying awareness among consumers of the positive impacts of ‘buying local’, there is unprecedented energy and momentum driving the independent specialty retail channel right now,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance


Big Agnes ( produces award-winning sleeping bags, pads, tents, insulated apparel and camp furniture. Located in Steamboat Springs, Colo., the company is named for a peak in the nearby Mt. Zirkel Wilderness.“Our specialty retail partners are at the core of our business and we are happy to support them after such a challenging year for the retail sector,” said Jill Lewis, Sales Director at Big Agnes.

Based in Cortez, Colorado, in the foothills of the San Juan Mountains, Osprey designs technical packs for outdoor, travel and everyday adventures. Osprey’s dedication to create innovative, high performance, sustainable gear reflects the brand’s love of adventure, devotion to the outdoors and steadfast resolve to leave the world better than they found it.

“The retailers that comprise Grassroots Outdoor Alliance are best in class and have been core to the Osprey brand since our early days, so it’s a great feeling to be able to provide them with even more support at such a monumental time for our industry,” said Justin Kline, Domestic Sales Sr. Manager.

Grassroots vendor partners gain direct and personal access to the Grassroots retailer community, earning the opportunity to engage on numerous levels including facilitated learning events, regular planning meetings, participation in the specialty outdoor-specific Switchback data management system, and a guaranteed invitation to Grassroots Connect, the group’s hyper-efficient, twice-yearly buying show, next scheduled for November 2021.


Active Endeavors ( of Davenport, Iowa, is the Quad Cities-only locally owned dealer of The North Face and Patagonia. They have been serving and giving back to their community since 1998 and are “here to serve your outdoor needs, and make you look better doing it.”

Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus ( serves the winter sport and outdoor market in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has earned numerous awards including SIA Downhill Retailer of the Year, SIA Cross Country Ski Retailer of the Year, Snow Country Magazine’s America’s Top Shops and Skiing Magazine’s Gold Medal Ski Shops. But according to store owners, “what we’re most proud of are the long lasting relationships with our customers and staff built on trust and a shared love of playing outdoors.”

Nomad Ventures ( is a premier outdoor specialty retailer located in Southern California. They are ready to equip customers with everything they need for camping, backpacking, rock climbing, overlanding, kayaking, and adventure travel. Over the course of its 40 years in business, Nomad Ventures has grown to four locations and an online store.

Outdoor Experience ( is a specialty outdoor store and full-service bicycle shop in Sandpoint, Idaho, which also serves as a community’s adventure hub, hosting a variety of product demos, educational opportunities, volunteer events and a weekly group run. The original owners, Kevin Nye and Marc DeLaVergne, retired in 2019 and passed the torch to Jennifer Curto.

Soko Outfitters ( is a specialty outdoor store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, focused on hiking, camping, paddling, climbing, and the outdoor lifestyle. The name derives from “Sokol” – the traditional Czech and Slovak society that encouraged fitness, unity through sport, and adventure.

ABOUT GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE:  Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is a collaborative strategic network of 96 independent retailers with 196 retail locations in 42 states, working together for the health and growth of specialty independent outdoor retail. Through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialty events and deep vendor partnerships, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is creating both a vision and roadmap for the long-term success of independent specialty retail. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is also recognized as a catalyst for the success of its retailers and vendor partners; an advocate for specialty independent retail; a promoter of education and community within the specialty channel; and a key influencer of the national outdoor industry. For more information on Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, please go to

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT: Grassroots Connect is an ideally timed, invitation-only buying show for the specialty outdoor industry hosted by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Scheduled as early as possible in the buying cycle, Connect provides a highly efficient opportunity for retailers, reps and vendors to present, discuss, plan and collect pre-season orders. Cost-effective and simple, Connect is both an incubator and testing ground for the greater outdoor industry. Invited retailers receive a per attendee reimbursement to offset their travel costs. The next Grassroots Connect will be held Nov. 8-11, 2021 (Kansas City, Mo.).