Outdoor: Did you hear?…

Bison Designs solves 29-year-old mystery, Atlas Snowshoe to relocate to larger facility, Jetboil garners Time mag attention, REI's Sally Jewell elected to NPCA board, plus much more…
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For the week of Nov. 23-29

>> Bison Designs found its way into the news recently, in an AP report, but not the way you might think for the Longmont, Colo.-based, outdoor manufacturer. Instead of a story about the company's belts, key chains and other accessories, the AP story was about a lost wallet. According to the story, Brian Kelleghan, Bison's owner, discovered a wallet in a wall that was being remodeled. It contained a few dollars, photos from several generations of family members, as well as a hand-written note from the wallet-owner's daughter, who was 6 in 1975, the year Robert McArtor reported the wallet as stolen. Kelleghan turned to one of his employees, Colleen Kelly, who manages accounts receivables and new accounts. She turned into an Internet sleuth and using the daughter's name from the note, found her on a college alumni website and from there discovered her married name. Kelly called, and in short order, the wallet was back in the hands of McArtor, now 71. SNEWS® View: We love Christmas tales like this of good deeds and good feelings. We are also reminded that if you do business with Bison Designs, forget about trying to duck out of paying a past due bill. There is simply no way Kelly isn't going to know where you live -- even if you change your name. Little wonder Kelleghan hired her.

>> Germany's DAV Summit Club has made Backcountry Access' Tracker DTS its exclusive avalanche transceiver of choice. With a shipment of 411 transceivers recently, the independent guiding and education arm of the 680,000-member Deutscher Alpenverein (German Alpine Club) now has 600 units. The Summit Club offers approximately 800 outings per year to destinations worldwide. A spokesman for the club said it took two years to evaluate and test all beacons on the market, including numerous burial scenarios. The units received feature a custom faceplate with the DAV Summit Club logo. In North America, the Tracker DTS is the exclusive transceiver of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the Alaskan heli-skiing industry and numerous professional ski patrols. For more information, check out www.bcaccess.com.

>> You know you've arrived as a company when the mainstream press starts recognizing your products. Such has been the case for Jetboil Inc., manufacturers of the Jetboil Personal Cooking System (PCS). Sure, Jetboil has garnered the standard glowing praise from the likes of Backpacker, Men's Journal and Outside -- each bestowing the annual editors' awards, best-of-the-best proclamations, and other such industry praise that gets advertisers all atwitter. Not that such awards are a trivial thing, mind you, but frankly, it does seem as if every company wins one at some point. What really should be turning heads in our opinion, is that Popular Science touts Jetboil as one of the best new inventions in its recent “Best of What’s New” issue. Even better, Time magazine in the current issue on newsstands dated Nov. 29 features Jetboil in its cover story on the “Most Amazing Inventions of 2004.” Time and Popular Science in one year? Company co-founder and Jetboil inventor Dwight Aspinwall should certainly smile about that.

>> Atlas Snowshoe Company is relocating to a larger facility across the bay in Berkeley, Calif., located in the "light industrial" section that spans Berkeley and Emeryville. According to the company, the move facilitates expanded research and design responsibilities at Atlas for all of the K2 snowshoe brands. The Atlas sales and marketing departments will be headquartered in the new building, as well as Daniel Emerson who is product director for all K2's snowshoe brands (Atlas, Tubbs, Little Bear and Powderidge). The new space will also enable Atlas to offer its Fall Rivet Fest dealer event in the fall of 2005 -- a celebration of snowshoeing and a thank you to Atlas' dealers.

>> REI's Sally Jewell has been elected to the board of trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the governing body for the non-partisan park watchdog organization. Jewell, who is presently COO of REI and has been named CEO Dennis Madsen's successor upon his retirement in early 2005, has nearly 20 years experience in the finance and banking industry. She currently serves on the boards of Premera, parent company to Premera Blue Cross, and the University of Washington. She is also a founding board member and immediate past-president for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, which is dedicated to enhancing the long-term environmental and economic vitality of the I-90 corridor from Puget Sound across the Cascade Mountains. Jewell's initial term on NPCA's board of trustees will be for three years.

>> Redfeather Snowshoes and AARP, a membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50-plus, will join forces March 12, 2005, to host the fourth annual AARP-Redfeather Snowshoe Festival at Devil's Thumb Ranch near Tabernash, Colo. In support of AARP's Wellness Program, Redfeather will have snowshoes available for the fun obstacle course and the 3K run/walk or 1K fun/walk. The event allows seniors to experience the benefits of snowshoeing first hand while enjoying the outdoors and low impact exercise.

>> Hi-Tec announced a new addition as well as numerous promotions. Kevin Adametz has been named eastern sales director. Most recently, Adametz managed East Coast sales for Sof Sole/Implus Footcare. He has also worked with Apex One, Converse and Wilson's Footwear Division. Also, Scott Chantos has been promoted to senior vice president of sales and marketing; Trace Metcalf has been named vice president of support operations, handling overall responsibility for merchandising, warehouse, logistics, IT and accounting; Gia Allen has been promoted to vice president of customer operations; and Linda Olsen has been named director of account services.

>> Working with Chevrolet, Deer Valley Lodging in Utah is launching a 2004/2005 Vacation Test Drive program. Starting opening day Dec. 4, the resort management company representing 600 vacation rental condos, hotel rooms and private homes will offer free use of a Chevy SUV -- including one tank of gas -- with a minimum three-night vacation rental. The SUVs include brand new 2005 Chevy Suburbans, Avalanches, Tahoes, and TrailBlazers (www.chevy.com). Through advance reservation only, cars are provided upon check-in and come fully loaded with all the bells and whistles to make the most of a ski vacation where the Deer Valley, Park City and The Canyons resorts are all within a 10-minute drive of one another. The Vacation Test Drive Program is available with all unit rentals, no matter the size, in low season as well as high, pending availability. A similar warm weather Vacation Test Drive program is planned for the 2005 summer and fall season. For more information, check out www.deervalleylodging.com.

>> The Timberland Company has appointed Mark Tritton as vice president of men's apparel, responsible for its global apparel business' strategy, merchandising and design. With over 20 years of experience, Tritton most recently served as Nike's general manager of men's apparel in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He will be relocating from Europe to the Stratham, N.H., area.

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