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McLean, VA. (March 9, 2006) â€“ The 2006 Winter Trails program, now in its 11th year, drew over 12,100 participants – more than double the number of participants in 2005. The international event offered newcomers to snow sports an opportunity to try snowshoeing and cross country skiing FREE at locations in 25 states and four Canadian provinces. Winter Trails is organized by SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the American Hiking Society (AHS) and the Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA).
The 2006 program met or surpassed every goal set by organizers. The number of locations for Winter Trails Day events grew from 83 last year to 120 in 2006. Traffic on the wintertrails.org website increased 150 percent in page views and 174 percent in unique visits. An extensive national, regional and local public relations campaign organized by CGPR and RDB Marketing generated more than 50 million media impressions with an ad value of $250,000.
â€œEverything clicked with Winter Trails this year, even the weather,â€ said SIA President David Ingemie. â€œThe best part is that we saw strong support from retailers at many of the venues.â€ He added, â€œWe received numerous reports that people came back after Winter Trails Day to continue their newly-learned snow sports and they bought products.â€
Winter Trails is part of SIA’s Winter Feels Good campaign to promote the health, fitness and social benefits of snow sports. The December issue of Leisure Trends’ Leisure Trak Report pointed out business opportunities that can stem from drawing parallels between health/fitness issues and participation in snow sports. One of the report’s â€œSurprising Facts about Winterâ€
states that â€œrising interest in mountain sports does not always translate into action. Access and cost are barriers. Nonetheless, more Americans are turning to snowshoeing and cross country and backcountry skiing for variety, new experiences and a means to stay in shape during the winter.â€
â€œLessons for Businessâ€ in the report, encourages readers to â€œview over-eating as a lifestyle segment in search of a solution. Rising health problems and unhappiness with weight represent untapped opportunity for sport and fitness businesses. Segmenting by weight, inactivity and happiness may yield greater sales than segmenting by gender or age.â€
Sponsors for Winter Trails 2006 are founding companies Atlas Snowshoe-Company, Mountain Safety Research (MSR), Redfeather Snowshoes and Tubbs Snowshoes along with official outerwear sponsor W.L. Gore and Associates, Columbia Sportswear Company, Sorel boots, Manzella gloves, Nature Valley granola bars, Alpina, Atomic, Exel, Fischer, Karhu, Rossignol, Salomon, Swix, Whitewoods, Cross Country Skier magazine, Ski Trax magazine, Snowshoe magazine and XCSKIResorts.com.
â€“ SIA â€“