>> Confluence Watersports has announced that the company has been granted patent number 6,736,084 for the company's Phase3 Outfitting seating system that company engineers developed in 2001. Phase3 incorporates an adjustable thigh support system that reduces leg fatigue and keeps legs from falling asleep. To support the back, the Phase3 design has an independent seat back that can be raised and lowered as well as adjusted forward and back. All adjustments can easily be made while seated in the boat. The Phase3 Outfitting system and other derivations of the design are used in Confluence Watersports' Wilderness Systems touring and recreational kayaks and Wave Sport whitewater kayaks.
>> REI is in the final stages of lease negotiations to open a second store in Austin, Texas, putting REI in the city’s primary downtown retail district and within walking distance of the Town Lake hike and bike trail. With a proposed opening date of fall 2005, the 22,500-square-foot two-story store will be located at 6th Street and Lamar Boulevard in Austin’s Market District. The new store will employ 50 full- and part-time staff and provide REI’s full line of outdoor gear and clothing and a gear rental department.
>> Dagger and Yakima have signed up as Premier level sponsors for this summer’s Clif Bar "Natural Energy Tour" to spread the word about renewable energy and the reduction of global warming. Clif Bar will send a retrofitted bus run entirely on biodiesel fuel from Tampa to Boston from June through Labor Day to educate people about global warming and encourage support for the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, a bill aimed at reducing industry-generated greenhouse gases (see www.undoit.org). AT Paddles and Harmony (kayaking accessories) will also participate in the tour as product sponsors. Clif Bar will make its environmental statement even stronger by collaborating with NativeEnergy to make the entire tour "Climate Neutral." That will entail buying wind credits toward the construction of a wind farm to offset the carbon emissions that will be generated from product shipping or incidental travel. For more information about NativeEnergy initiatives, visit www.nativeenergy.com.
>> Now we're just getting plain wacky with promotions. Backcountry.com has announced the online retailer will be giving away one lightweight, high-performance tent from The North Face, Sierra Designs, Mountain Hardwear, Kelty or Marmot every day in June and July during the company's Gimme Shelter Sweepstakes. No purchase is necessary and all Backcountry wants in return is for entrants to sign up for their newsletter -- a savvy way to collect emails for sure. Registration for the sweepstakes and associated rules can be found at www.backcountry.com/store/giveawayrules.html.
>> Rangers at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, with support from Climbing magazine and Mammut have upgraded the Tyrolean traverse that spans the Gunnison River between the North and the South Chasm View walls. This important Tyrolean allows access to the south side from the Cruise Gully and has been an integral part of many link-up ascents, and saved countless climbers from being stranded on the south side of the canyon -- a two-hour drive from the North Rim Campground, the traditional staging area for ascents in the Black. In 2003 Climbing magazine, with support from The North Face and Petzl, launched the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) to address the nationwide problem of worn out and inappropriate fixed hardware at heavily used crags. Thus far, the ARI program has set up and supplied premium stainless-steel hardware to a network of 18 volunteers across the country who have been able to upgrade nearly 100 routes and are in possession of enough hardware to address 250 more. The ARI continues to expand into new areas and will supply hardware to any qualified volunteers interested in making the fixed hardware in their area safer for the climbing community as a whole.
>> NRS and DragoRossi Kayaks of Italy have reached a tentative agreement to distribute the DragoRossi boat line in North American. The kayaks are created by Corran Addison. Addison is currently finishing prototyping of the new designs in Italy. Three new kayaks and a river surfboard will be available in North America this summer. More spec information on the boat line is available at www.dragorossi.com.
>> Outside magazine has teamed up to promote Carmichael Training Systems, a leader in endurance coaching and development with a project dubbed the Outside Training Center. The Outside Training Center is accessed through OutsideOnline.com and offers exclusive online articles about training and nutrition, as well as training packages designed by CTS professionals. Training packages vary in price and are available for numerous sports, including adventure racing, cycling, running and multisport conditioning.
>> The national headquarters for Hooked on the Outdoors magazine and parent company ADventure LLC has relocated to a 13,000-square-foot custom office facility north of Atlanta. The new digs accommodate more than 20 full-time employees in national sales and marketing, event marketing, production and design, and distribution. The editorial staff will remain in Boulder, Colo. Among the custom specifications are a large photo studio, an on-site storage facility to accommodate the growing Hooked Village Tour, and dedicated offices for visiting editorial staff and business partners. The address for the new office is: Hooked on the Outdoors, 4830 Rivergreen Pkwy, Ste. 150 Duluth, GA 30096-2568; phone 770-396-4320, and fax 770-390-9498.
>> Cathy Oyama is leaving Adventure 16 after serving as the general merchandise manager for the past year and a half to work for Superfeet as a sales manager for the company, based in the San Diego, California region. "Next to Phil Oren, I’ve never known anyone as passionate and knowledgeable about proper boot and shoe fit as Cathy," said John Mead, president of Adventure 16. "There is no doubt that she will excel in her new position and fortunately A16 will continue to benefit from her abilities in this area." Mead added that the empty GMM position "is an important position in our organization and we are committed to having an outstanding buying team and department head. The search is on and I’m confident we will fill the position in short order."
>> The North Face is working with GlobalGiving, an international aid organization, to fund and promote community-based development projects overseas. Tying into its sponsored expeditions, TNF will be able to identify and fund social and economic development projects in the regions where these expeditions take place. Through the GlobalGiving Philanthropic Expedition Program, TNF will make a donation to a local charity in the region of an expedition for every 1,000 feet its athletes climb on a company-sponsored expedition. Founded by former World Bank executives, GlobalGiving directly connects social entrepreneurs in the developing world with individuals and institutions that have an interest in funding social and economic development projects. "GlobalGiving provides an exciting new opportunity that streamlines international aid," said Letitia Ferrier, TNF’s strategic marketing manager. "Through this partnership, The North Face funding will go directly to high-impact development projects overseas. This allows us to directly give back to the communities and regions where we send our athletes to explore." For information or to get involved, visit GlobalGiving at www.globalgiving.com and TNF at www.thenorthface.com.
>> Five Ten has hired brothers Brad and John Dorough to rep its Southwest territory as well as Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. Brad, who also reps for Petzl and GoLite, will focus on Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky. John will handle Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, and also reps for Petzl’s work and rescue division. The territory was previously managed by Doug Reed who is now focusing on the bike industry.
>> CamelBak Products LLC, has promoted John Rounds to national sales manager of the company's U.S. Recreational Division. Rounds will be responsible for managing all of CamelBak’s field representatives and supporting key accounts for the company. From 1995 to 2003, Rounds was an owner of True North Trading, an established agency that has represented CamelBak’s products in the Midwest territory. He was appointed regional sales manger of CamelBak in January 2004. Rounds, accompanied by his wife and daughter, will relocate to Petaluma, Calif., for the position, which is effective immediately.
>> Type 20 SRL, parent company of Briko, has named Roces Canada Ltd. as the exclusive Canadian distributor of Briko snow and bike products. Briko dealers will be serviced from Roces Canada's office and warehouse facility in Barrie, Ontario, where bilingual customer service team will be available. For more information, contact Mike Doble at Roces Canada at 1-800-461-6420 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Type 20 SRL holds the exclusive sales, marketing and distribution rights for all Briko products in the United States and Canada.
>> Mark Mathews has been promoted to Vasque director of sales, proving that it is possible to work out of a remote office in Colorado for a company based in Minnesota and still get the job done.
>> Jeff Achey has been named editor-in-chief of Climbing magazine. In a related move, Mads Buck, a 13-year Primedia publishing veteran and avid outdoorsman with Norwegian roots, was named Publisher of the Carbondale-based title. SNEWS® View: Finally, recognition of Achey's talents and some tangible stability at a magazine that has been in desperate need of same.
>> Tom Watson, national marketing director for Wenonah Canoe and Current Designs kayaks, has resigned that position effective May 28. Watson has been the director of marketing at Wenonah since 1999. Watson's future plans include completing work on guidebooks. Watson, a former kayak tour operator in Alaska, and a former president of TASK, expects to remain active in the kayak industry. Those wishing to stay in touch with Watson can reach him by phone at 507-457-9729 or by email at email@example.com.