Outdoor: Did you hear?…

ROI buying group adds three new members, Alpineer.com launches, Nikwax opens Canadian distribution facility, Primaloft to sponsor Adirondack ski festival, Cloundveil announces rep of the year, Red Ledge has a new look, and much, much more...
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For Dec. 21 to Jan. 3

>> The outdoor specialty retail buying group, Retailers of the Outdoor Industry (ROI), has added three new members to the group as of the first of the year. Casual Adventure in Arlington, Va., Elephant's Perch in Ketchum, Idaho, and Pack Rat Outdoor Center in Fayetteville, Ark. ROI now boasts 27 members in 17 states with gross sales in 2004 representing approximately $100 million.

>> Telemarkski.com has launched a new sister site, Alpineer.com, staffed by The Alpineer, an outdoor specialty retail store that has been a fixture in the Crested Butte community since 1969. The Alpineer.com site will specialize in softgoods such as Arc'Teryx, Cloudveil, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia and The North Face, as well as lifestyle brands like Horny Toad, Ice Breaker, Prana and Royal Robbins. "Alpineer.com is a logical extension of Telemarkski.com, in the sense that it combines the convenience and value of online shopping with the friendly customer service and product knowledge of our amazing staff," owner Mike Martin said. "Consistently, the feedback we receive is that our exceptional customer service sets us apart from other online retailers. We strive to provide our e-commerce customer the same experience the people of Crested Butte have come to trust and expect after more than 35 years of providing the best equipment the outdoor industry has to offer." Alpineer.com also offers product reviews written by the staff for every product on the site and an "Info Forum." By logging onto Alpineer.com or Telemarkski.com, browsers can also enter a sweepstakes drawing that offers a grand prize ski package for two at Crested Butte Mountain Resort that includes five nights of lodging, lift tickets and meals. First place wins an avalanche course for two with Crested Butte Guides and many other prizes including telemark skis and bindings. The drawing ends Jan. 15, and anyone can participate.

>> Nikwax has opened a new facility in Richmond, British Columbia, to handle fulfillment of its products into Canadian markets. North American demand for Nikwax has undergone a dramatic boost since the parent company, Nikwax UK, took over operations from the former distributor, according to the company. "Since we have been focusing our attention on the North American market, we have seen demand increase in nearly all markets in North America -- especially in Canada," said Chas Fisher, general manager for Nikwax N.A. The Nikwax Canadian facility will use the same inventory control and barcode-scanning technology as the U.S. center, allowing it to process 100 orders a day at its current personnel levels.

>> For the third year in a row, Primaloft will be the primary sponsor of the Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival hosted by The Mountaineer, March 5-6 in Keene Valley, N.Y. Instructional clinics and guided tours for all levels will be led by local mountain guides from Adirondack Mountain School, Adirondack Rock & River and Plattsburgh State University's Adirondack Experience. Profits from this year's event will benefit the New York State Ski Education Foundation's Nordic racing programs and the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. For more information on the festival, contact Vinny McClelland at 518-576-2281 or vinny@mountaineer.com.

>> GoLite has signed a new agreement with Canadian-based distributor Adventure Gear Distribution to handle its sales and distribution north of the border. Adventure Gear Distribution also handles operations for Seattle Sports, Alps Mountaineering, Paluski Canoe and Kayaks, and Parlee Manufacturing. For more information, contact Colin Milne of Adventure Gear Distribution at 877-511-1191 or adventuregear@sympatico.ca.

>> Cloudveil announced its "rep of the year" recipient for the Cloudveil Cup: Dwight Hinds of DH Enterprises. Dave Ellingson, Cloudveil's national sales manager, said, "Dwight's continued enthusiasm for the Cloudveil brand, his major inroads in a challenging territory and his focused strategy are a breath of fresh air for Cloudveil. We look forward to his continued success." Upon winning the award recently at Cloudveil's national sales meeting, Hinds, who handles the California, Arizona and Nevada territory, promptly filled the cup with blue agave margaritas and shared the contents with all interested bar patrons. The Cloudveil Cup takes after hockey's Stanley Cup in its construction with tiers below the bowl holding the annual winners' names.

>> High Sierra Sport Company is partnering with Leed's, a Pittsburgh-based promotional products company, as High Sierra's supplier within the promotional products industry. Leed's 2005 catalog will offer a selection of High Sierra's existing products, as well as exclusive, licensed accessories designed specifically for Leed's. "Extending the High Sierra brand into new channels is part of our long-term growth strategy," said Hank Bernbaum, president of High Sierra. "High Sierra Sport Company is built on a foundation of creating products with higher quality raw materials, and we look forward to continue to introduce our products to the corporate market."

>> Deckers' board of directors and compensation committee have decided to stop issuing stock options to directors, officers and employees of the company and will now issue restricted stock grants under the its 1993 Stock Incentive Plan. Starting Dec. 20, 2004, officers and key employees will be eligible to receive restricted stock grants annually in an amount to be determined by the board of directors or the compensation committee. Additionally, each director will be issued 400 shares of common stock on a quarterly basis. The directors will also receive an increase in their annual retainer to $20,000 from $11,000 and the board committee meeting fees will be increased to $1,500 from $1,000.

>> Red Ledge is entering 2005 with a new logo, reps and show booth. The updated Red Ledge logo has two overlapping mountain ledges facing forward to "represent Red Ledge's progressive approach to outerwear design and production," it said in a statement. Covering its New England territory is John and Doris Watson of JW Sales and Associates, while the upper Midwest territory will be handled by BP Associates. And, for Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, Andreas Macculloch is putting the finishing touches on the company's new booth, which will feature an open layout making it easier to preview its new line.

>> Tubbs Snowshoes has hired Atlantic Associates as its northeast rep agency, replacing Northern Edge Associates, which has signed an exclusive deal with Merrell. Atlantic Associates will cover Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for Tubbs. It also represents Camelbak, Eagle Creek, Fischer XC and Watermark. For more information, contact Atlantic Associates' Harold Mullins at 860-693-1777, or Steve Reeder at 603-860-4336.

>> Chuck Blackwell is Petzl's new southwest sales rep, replacing Shelley Presson Dunbar. Blackwell has 15 years of sales experience and will cover the Arizona, Nevada and Southern California regions. Dunbar is moving on from Petzl to devote herself full-time to Sea to Summit distribution, which she owns with her husband.

>> West Marine has named Alice Richter as a new independent director to its board of directors. Richter was a CPA with KPMG LLP for 26 years until her retirement in June 2001. Based on her experience in finance and accounting, she also serve on the company's audit committee as a financial expert. Richter currently serves on the board of directors of G&K Services, Inc., where she is also a member of the audit committee.

>> Theodore Armstrong has joined Cabela's board of directors, and will also serve as a member of the audit committee and the nominating and corporate governance committee. Armstrong served as senior vice president-finance and administration and CFO of Angelica Corp. from 1986 to his retirement in February 2004. Armstrong is also a board member of UMB Bank of St. Louis and several non-profit organizations.

>> Keen Footwear has named Julie McFadden of JAM Media as its new PR company. McFadden is available at 615-292-4202 or jamcfaddenmedia@aol.com.

>> Wenonah Canoe has hired Steve Yates of Image Marketing to help develop innovative marketing strategies for Wenonah canoes and Current Designs kayaks in 2005. Image Marketing is a marketing and advertising firm that has a reputation for assisting outdoor companies by improving company identities and branding within the paddlesports and outdoor industries.

>> Bill Mintiens recently joined Ruff Wear as director of sales and will direct both domestic and international sales as the company continues to gain momentum and expand in both the outdoor and specialty pet industries. Most recently the vice president and marketing director of Columbia River Bank in Bend, Mintiens also has extensive marketing and sales experience with Adidas, Converse, Nike and Avia.

>> Jeff Haug has left Katadyn to join Shock Doctor as director of sales for sporting goods, starting Jan. 3. He is available at 763-519-2737.

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