Atlas Snow-Shoe Company has announced plans to expand on the successful completion of the company's pilot season of the Atlas Explore Winter women's workshops.
Initially offered to select retail stores and health clubs in Seattle, Portland and along Colorado's Front Range, the program will roll out nationally, especially into the northeast region for the 2003-2004 winter season.
The program was conceived to support the fall 2002 launch of the company's new Elektra line of snowshoes designed specifically for women. Karen Righthand, director of marketing for Atlas, told SNEWS that nearly 500 women participated in the 25 workshops held to date.
Developed with support from Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Clif Bar, Petzl, National Geographic Maps, Subaru, Easton Technical Products, and the Women's Sports Foundation, the Explore Winter workshops were presented by adventure racer Cathy Sassin along with Atlas reps. Each workshop featured a snowshoe technology clinic, gear clinics, tips on what to wear and how to pack, and a basic map and compass course.
Righthand estimates that about half of the participants had never been snowshoeing before. At the end of each workshop, women were given the opportunity to sign up for a hike on the new Elektra shoes. For each hike, a small fee was collected to benefit the Women's Sports Foundation. Nearly $700 has been raised to date.
SNEWS View: Yet another example of how thinking outside of the conventional outdoor square box can drum up increased business and expose folks who might not otherwise try an activity. Full round of applause for Atlas for taking the clinics to health clubs, where a market is just waiting to be tapped for such activities that combine both outdoor recreation and fitness. We imagine that by further embracing health clubs across the country, the program will continue to blossom as more folks discover that getting outdoors and getting fit is a marriage made in heaven.