Outdoor: Did you hear?...

OIA Rendezvous registration deadine approaches, LA Times creates OUTDOORS section,Black Diamond and REI sponsor HERA road tour,Wall Street Journal reviews Garmin's iQue PDA,MontBell America adds distribution center,Kickin' Access tour underway, Woolrich promotes Lederle Eberhardt, plus more.
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>> Time is running out to register for the upcoming Outdoor Industry Association Rendezvous, being held Oct. 2-5 at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa in Vail, Colo. SNEWS has just checked the attendee list which is quite impressive, as is the lineup of speakers and seminars, supported by a long list of sponsors including: REI, Merrell, Galyan's, Outdoor Retailer, Nike, Timberland, Hooked on the Outdoors, GearTrends/SNEWS, Outdoor Industry Women's Council (OIWC), Chris Goddard Public Relations, Tres Gatos, Deuter USA, Cocoon, and W.L. Gore. Go to www.outdoorindustry.org/events.rendezvous.html for more information and to register. SNEWS View: We wouldn't miss attending a Rendezvous, and are very pleased to be supporting the event as well. There is simply no better event for networking or developing new business ideas for retailers, reps or manufacturers, period! Yes, we know, we've heard SGB is promoting its own seminar event in April of next year -- in Torrey Pines, in Southern California (manufacturers pay beaucoup bucks, retailers go for free). Here's our recommendation. If you are going to pick one over the other, you'll get much more bang for your buck at the Rendezvous, hands down. In addition, all money from the SGB event goes to, well SGB. Money from the Rendezvous goes to the event itself and to support the industry in which you do business. We'd call that a non-decision.

>> Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom are the focus of a $50 million international tourism promotional campaign. Earlier this year, President Bush approved the funding to create a marketing campaign to focus on these five markets, which have historically sent the most travelers to the United States. They represent 75 percent of the international travelers hosted in the United States in 2002 and 46 percent of the receipts generated in 2001. They have also contributed more than $9 billion to the travel trade surplus. The campaign will include market and evaluation research, consumer and trade advertising and promotional efforts focused on earned and unearned media. A grants program will support regional promotion efforts.

>> In what could be deemed a good sign for the industry, the LA Times just launched (you could call it relaunched since years ago it had an outdoor section, then killed it) a weekly section in its newspaper called OUTDOORS. It will be published every Tuesday. The first section had a little taste of everything in it from camping and hiking, to fly-fishing, to big wave surfing in its editorial.

>> Black Diamond Equipment has partnered with REI to take the HERA (Health Empowerment, Research and Advocacy) Ovarian Cancer Climb for Life on the road to six major metropolitan areas this winter. The HERA Climb for Life REI Road Tour will include a monthlong event at each stop to promote awareness and raise money for research in the following markets: Seattle, Wash.; Fremont, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Southern California. Entire families can participate in the promotion earning points from climbing on climbing walls at REI stores and local gyms. Points will be tallied in participant scorebooks with incentives to gain pledges from friends, family and community members. Each promotion will kick off with a party at REI, featuring Black Diamond product raffles, climbing clinics and demos, and a talk by a local medical expert on ovarian cancer. At the end of the monthlong promotion in each market, awards will be presented to the top finishers in each age and ability category. The REI Road Tour will begin in Southern California in January. For more detailed information on the event in your local area go to: http://www.ovariancancer.jhmi.edu/climb.

>> If you are a tech geek, and a reader of the Wall Street Journal, a placement in Walter Mossberg's weekly technology column in the WSJ is the Holy Grail for any technology company, and Garmin scored big on Sept. 4, with a review of its iQue PDA. This review is very positive, although Mossberg does take a tiny swipe at Garmin for selling its regular GPS at a higher price than the GPS/PDA version reviewed in the column. Click here to read.

>> MontBell America Inc. is adding a new distribution and service center in Boulder, Colo. The 7,000-square-foot facility located in Wilderness Place in Boulder will serve as a distribution and service center for the company's own retail operation and retailers in the U.S. market. This facility will also function as its North American corporate office allowing MontBell to move out of the basement of its Pearl Street Mall retail location. MontBell America started its wholesale operations in mid-2002 and opened its Boulder flagship store in November 2002. The company currently distributes through its own retail operation, as well as its network of retailers in 15 states. REI also carries selected MontBell products through its network as well as its website.

>> The winners of the 15th Annual Canoe & Kayak magazine awards were:Perception -- Boat Manufacturer of the Year; Aquabound -- Accessory Manufacturer of the Year (the second year in a row it has won); and Rutabaga -- Retailer of the Year (the fourth time the retailer has won this award). To determine the winners, Canoe & Kayak mailed ballots to more than 700 retail stores for the two manufacturer awards, while 650 paddlesports/outdoor manufacturers were polled for the retailer award. Retailers were asked to consider the following criteria in making their selection for Manufacturer of the Year: overall promotion of paddlesports (conducting national, regional and local advertising and promotional campaigns, providing co-op advertising opportunities, etc.); innovation in product development and design; providing retailer support and education through clinics, demos, videos, safety instruction, professional rep service, on-time delivery of product; and providing community service and support. For the Retailer Award, manufacturers used the following criteria: the retailer that best exemplifies excellence through sponsorship and support of paddlesports events at the regional and local level; providing education through classes, safety instruction, demos, etc.; community support; building awareness and sales with advertising and/or promotion at the local, regional and national level; properly fitting equipment to the needs and experience level of customers and providing excellent service after the sale.

>> The Third Annual Kickin' Access tour is underway, touring the west and coming to a climbing gym or shop near you. Kickin' Access is Kurt Smith's traveling climbing party that raises climber awareness and money for the Access Fund. Attendees who are not already Access Fund members are encouraged to sign up at the event. Smith and Kickin' Access have been one of the Access Fund's biggest sources of new members since the tour started. Funds that go directly to the Access Fund are raised with a raffle for prizes donated by Nike ACG, Climbing Magazine, Entre Prises, Thule Car Rack Systems, Misty Mountain, Scarpa, Black Diamond, Gregory Mountain Packs, and Krieg Chalkbags. In addition to the raffle is a showing of the newly released video, "Friction Addiction -- Black Hills Gold." For more information, go to www.accessfund.org/events/events_events.html.

>> Lederle Eberhardt has been promoted to vice president of merchandising and design for Woolrich. In her new position, Eberhardt will have complete responsibility for product design and merchandising for all men's and women's wholesale apparel. She will report directly to the company president, Roswell Brayton. Eberhardt joined Woolrich in 1995 as a merchandise manager for women's sportswear. She then became women's senior merchandise manager and, in 2001, was named senior merchandise manager. In addition, the company promoted Tim Joseph to director of marketing and media. Joseph will have responsibility for all corporate marketing and advertising in addition to his existing responsibility for the Woolrich catalog and Internet business. He will continue to report to company vice president Bruch Heggenstaller.

>> G3 Genuine Guide Gear Inc. has snagged a well-recognized name to add to the company's list of employees -- Paul Parker. Parker has a long history of product development in the backcountry ski market with Chouinard Equipment, Scarpa, Tua, Patagonia and Marmot. He also works as product manager for Garmont Telemark and Ski Mountaineering boots and is a contributor to the NTN (New Telemark Norm) project. Parker's book, "Free-Heel Skiing," is a well-read and highly regarded book about the sport of tele skiing (SNEWS has several dog-eared copies in our own offices.) Parker may be reached by email at: paul@genuineguidegear.com.

>> Tubbs Snowshoes has named Paul Adams to the position of marketing program coordinator. Adams will oversee Tubbs event series, including the Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer Event Series, which has been expanded to five locations this season. Adams most recently served as special events manager at Mount Snow, part of the American Ski Company, where he planned and managed over 60 events including the NORBA National Championship Series, Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge and the Green Mountain Grand Rodeo. Prior to his position at the American Ski Company, he assisted in the execution of the 2001 ESPN Winter X Games.

>> Exped has added three new reps to its sales force. The new reps and their territories are: Northeast -- Luke Buckingham; Southeast -- Chris Hall of Repsouth; and Southwest -- Dave Cockburn of Kiwi Outdoor Representation. Dealer inquiries about which rep serves their area should be directed to Exped's toll free number at 888-609-7187.

>> Fischer US has hired Eli Brown to fill the company's new in-house position of Nordic race director. Brown brings a variety of experiences to the Fischer team, including a coaching career that spans University of Utah, Whitman College and most recently Maine Winter Sports Center. As race director, Brown will support the Athlete Force and Subaru Factory Team athletes. He will work with dealers and consumers as the technical voice for Fischer Cross-Country. Brown will also provide race support at all major Nordic events.

>> Panoptx has hired two new sales representatives, Patrick Hoyt and Jim Payne. Hoyt will handle the Rocky Mountain region and Payne will cover the Southeast. In addition, the company expanded territories for two existing sales reps, Joel Olney and James White.

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