Outdoor: Did you hear?…

Join Big Agnes and get in touch with your inner Big Lebowski, Panoptx reports record sales, LaCrosse named as one of the top companies in the Pacific NW, Kelty stroller garners award, and much more...
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For the week of June 7-13

>> Grab your best bowling attire, practice your Big Lebowski routine and take part in Big Agnes' bowling fund-raiser for Leave No Trace during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. To participate, companies from the outdoor industry "buy" a lane for $150, which goes to Leave No Trace, and includes one lane (up to five people per lane), shoe rentals for all bowlers, one large pizza, one beer and one raffle ticket per person. Better hurry if ya wanna play. Only 25 lanes are available and 11 are already spoken for. Walk-in bowlers are welcome for $10, and additional raffle tickets will be available for $5. The fund-raiser is Aug. 11 at Olympus Hills Bowl. To register your team, call Len Zanni, Big Agnes' marketing director, at 970-963-2045. To reserve your lane, you'll need to provide the following: company name, team name, list of bowlers, company address/phone number and credit card number.

>> Panoptx Eyewear reports it had record sales in the first quarter of 2005, with the opening of 115 new accounts since January. The company said it has experienced significant growth in the snowsports category, with a 225 percent increase in sales compared to this time last year. Panoptx added sales staff with extensive experience in this category and unveiled a targeted early buy-in program for retailers at the SIA trade show in January. The motorsports category experienced a 30 percent increase in sales compared to the same period in 2004, due to a successful early sell-in sales program, it said. Panoptx said this growth is the result of several successful initiatives, including the addition of products for the snowsports and marine categories, the hiring of new sales staff, successful retailer incentive programs and the Endless Eyewear Tour, the company's first national grassroots initiative. The Endless Eyewear Tour, which began in March, is visiting dozens of consumer event venues and retailers, providing product demonstrations and on-site warranty services through December of this year. Lastly, in the marine category, Panoptx is teaming with tournament angler Scott Martin, who will be working on behalf of Panoptx at tournaments and retailer events throughout the country to support the marine product launch, and play a central role in product design. For more information, visit www.panoptx.com.

>> Effective immediately, Mike Prendergast has resigned as president of Columbia's Sorel division and has left the company. Sorel's management team will manage his duties until a successor is found.

>> Cabela's is in negotiations to build one of its large-format destination retail stores on a 28.6 acre site near Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Plans call for the 160,000-square-foot outdoor gear superstore to be open by late 2006 or early 2007, and employ 400 people. Cabela's currently has 11 retail locations. Seven additional new stores have been announced by Cabela's in the past year.

>> LaCrosse Footwear was named as the fifth strongest performing company in the Pacific Northwest by the Seattle Times. The newspaper analyzes Northwest companies based on key performance indicators over the past two years, including return on equity, sales per employee and operating profitability. To see the full list, click here.

>> David Horton set out on June 4 to set a new speed record on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The 55-year-old ultrarunner from Lynchburg, Va., hopes to finish the trail in 63 days, averaging 42 miles a day. He will run from dawn to dusk, averaging 12 hours a day on the trail. Montrail is his primary sponsor and updates on his progress can be found at www.montrail.com. Other sponsors include Patagonia, Nathan Gear, Clif Bar, Sunsweet, GoLite and Black Diamond.

>> VNU's Fly-Fishing Retailer World Trade Expo, and a sister show of Outdoor Retailer, has hired Pale Morning Media, a Vermont-based specialist in public relations for the outdoor world, to support the strategy and execution of the annual industry gathering. The Fly-Fishing Retailer World Trade Expo is the annual gathering of the fly-fishing trade, drawing thousands of manufacturers, retailers, media and industry friends to the Colorado Convention Center. Its next show is Sept. 8-10. Pale Morning Media also handles Kelty, Horny Toad, Smith Action Optics and Northern Outdoors adventure resort. For more information on Pale Morning Media, contact 802.583.6070, or
palemorningmedia@yahoo.com.

>> At the world's largest gathering for manufacturers of children's and family products, the new Kelty KIDS Speedster Deluxe stroller was honored as a winner of the JPMA Innovation Awards. The Speedster Deluxe was one of 10 winners chosen from 118 products submitted. The stroller was honored specifically because of its unique visible folding technology -- an enclosed cable-pulley system with a transparent faceplate. The JPMA award was given to the Speedster Deluxe based on its innovation, marketability, trend-setting potential, appeal and usefulness, according to competition organizers. Formed in 1962 with 29 industry companies, JPMA has grown to include more than 350 companies in North America and comprise a $6.02 billion industry.

>> A few new faces have joined Mountain Gear over the last several weeks. Douglas Anderson has joined the executive team as the chief operating officer. Most recently, he served as the sales and marketing director of Surgitec, and was with Apple Computer for over 15 years before that. Greg Dailey has been named the inventory control manager, and was hired away from EDI. Whitney Parson is the newest member to Mountain Gear and has been named the new Internet marketing manager. Whitney previously worked for Coldwater Creek.

>> Sirio De Luca has been appointed president of Consoltex's outerwear fabrics division. In his new role, De Luca will lead the global sales and business development effort of the company's outerwear division, its short and long-term profitability as well as its growth strategy. De Luca joins Consoltex with over 18 years of strategic, operational and general management experience with leading North American-based global textile corporations. He was most recently vice president and general manager of PGI/DIFCO Performance Fabrics.

>> Outdoor Research has hired Mike Christian as the director of government programs. With extensive experience in government contracts and a graduate of both the US Naval Academy and the US Naval Post Graduate School, Christian will be dealing directly with projects and contracts specific to military and other government agencies for Outdoor Research. He will be based in Maryland.

>> Exel North America has named David Michael as its North American sales manager, winter division, and assist with its Nordic walking business. Most recently, Michael had been brand manager for Roces North America Ltd. He also worked in retailing for a number of outlets in Ontario, Canada, including Brewer's Retail and The Trip Outdoors, as well as being sole proprietor of his own company, Velocity Gear. Michael competed in cross-country skiing where he has distinguished himself over the years as North American Ski champion, a member of the Canadian National Cross-Country Ski Team Development Center, a member of the Ontario Ski Team, and recipient of a total of 11 National & North American Nordic ski championship medals between 1991 and 1997. He also holds levels 1, 2 and is continuing to work towards his level 3 NCCP cross-country skiing coaching licenses.

>> Climbing the world's highest seven summits seems to be the latest craze to get your cause some attention. Wendy Booker is waving the flag for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and has her first summit -- Mount McKinley -- checked off her list. Booker, diagnosed in 1998, is on a mission to raise awareness for the disease she faces and to share with others living with multiple sclerosis (MS) about available therapy resources. She is the first known woman living with RRMS to summit the peak and plans to attempt Mount Kilimanjaro this summer. Booker began climbing in 2002 as part of the Climb for the Cause team, which set out to be the first unguided group of MS climbers to reach the McKinley summit, but was turned back by weather. Booker was a novice climber but an accomplished athlete having run three marathons and been a certified aerobics instructor for years. Booker is part of Team Copaxone (an RRMS drug maker), a group of people living with RRMS, who refuse to sit idly by and allow MS to stand in the way of their goals. Its members are all working to change society's perception of the abilities of those living with MS. For more information on MS Climb 2005, visit www.msclimb.com.

>> PrimaLoft has been selected as the insulation of choice for the new American Skiing Company (ASC) outerwear program that was recently awarded to L.L. Bean. Beginning this fall, outerwear will be supplied to all on-mountain personnel at all ASC resorts that include Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine, Attitash in New Hampshire, Killington, Pico Mountain, and Mount Snow in Vermont, The Canyons in Utah, and Steamboat in Colorado. The L.L. Bean team designed three jackets -- one shell and two insulated with different weights of PrimaLoft.

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