Outdoor: Have you heard?

Backcountry Access opens beacon training site; Wild Rock Outfitters sells Boat Werks; Superfeet wins gold award, promotes Wert; Moonstone sponsors events; Mammut and Toko; Five Ten opens lab; Cascade donates to AAC;

>> Backcountry Access (BCA) has opened a state-of-the-art, avalanche-beacon training site at Loveland Basin ski area. Designed for training avalanche educators and advanced beacon users, the facility is the first of its kind worldwide. Nicknamed "Beacon Basin," the site features 14 permanently buried transmitters, each separately hard-wired to a central control panel. The panel consists of 14 switches for turning the transmitters on and off, plus a remote power supply consisting of six alkaline D cells. By permanently burying the beacons and controlling them remotely, trainers can eliminate the time-consuming process of excavating and re-burying transmitters between searches. Access to Beacon Basin will be limited to those who have been qualified by BCA to operate it. For more information, go to www.bcaccess.com

>> Wild Rock Outfitters, an Ontario, Canada-based, outdoor and clothing retailer has sold the assets of its associated paddlesport stores, named Boat Werks, to long-time store employee Jeff Strano. In addition to the storefronts, Strano assumes ownership of the company's two websites -- www.boatwerks.net and www.ottawariver.com.

>> Superfeet, manufacturers of custom and trim-to-fit footbeds, took home a Gold Award in the footwear division of the Design of the Times 2002 awards for its new permanent display system. The POP display was designed by Concept Designs, Inc. of Mountain View, Calif. A panel of more than 60 leading POP experts completed the first phase of judging in June. Judges reconvened in New York to choose the best in each of seven categories. In related news, the company also announced the promotion of Evan Wert to vice president of marketing. Wert was formerly the director of sales and marketing and has been with Superfeet since 1993. His new position will include marketing for Superfeet worldwide.

>> Moonstonewill be a sponsor at four prestigious events, including: The American Bouldering Series (ABS) -- www.rockcomps.org -- which runs from October 2002 through March 2003; the Ouray Ice Festival (January 17-20) in Colorado; the Mt. Washington Valley Ice Fest (February 20-23) in New Hampshire; and the Phoenix Bouldering Contest (April 24-27). Each grassroots event gives Moonstone a presence through exhibit or selling booths, product demos, and logo and coupon giveaways.

>> Mammut AG and Toko AG, both owned by Swiss holding company Conzzeta Holding, are combining sales and logistics within Mammut's headquarters in Seon, Switzerland. The merger will be completed by May 1, 2003. Toko AG will remain responsible for product management, racing services, production and R&D for Toko's ski and snowboard products as well as the company's textile and shoe care products. The new Mammut Toko group will be managed by the current director of the Mammut group, Rolf Schmid. Walter Dietiker, the present manager of Toko AG, will head Toko brand management within the Mammut Toko group and also be responsible for the subsidiaries in Germany, Norway and the United States.

>> Thule has named Jeff Padovan as its new vice president of sales and service. Padovan will be in charge of all Thule sales and service management teams, and will be based out of Thule U.S.A.'s corporate headquarters in Seymour, Conn.

>> Five Ten is opening a state-of-the-art shoe research and development laboratory in January 2003. The new 3,000-square-foot facility will house Five Ten's R&D facilities for product development, durability testing and materials research. In addition to nearly a half million dollars of sophisticated testing machinery, the new laboratory also contains a state-of-the-art rubber laboratory. Charles Cole, president of Five-Ten, said the company invested heavily in the lab in response to dropping costs, rising sales and preseason orders up 35 percent worldwide.

>> Cascade Designs has signed on to provide American Alpine Club (AAC)Lyman Spitzer Climbing Grant recipients with gear rewards in addition to the $5,000 in financial remuneration the award bestows. Cascade's commitment is for a total of $10,000 in gear from MSR, Therm-a-rest and Platypus hydration systems. The Spitzer grants promote state-of-the-art, cutting-edge climbing through support of small, lightweight teams of climbers attempting bold first ascents or difficult repeats of the most challenging routes in the world's great mountain ranges. Grants each year total over $25,000.

>> Watermark's Yakima Destination Hardware has selected ad2 to redesign its consumer website. In an Ad Week -- www.adweek.com -- news release, Yakima's new site is expected to launch Feb. 14 and will target adventure enthusiasts and showcase the innovation behind Yakima's product line. Dean Hart, Watermark's vice president of marketing, estimated the budget for the new site at between $50,000 to $125,000. Other ad2 clients are Columbia Pictures, Pepsi and Paramount Pictures, among others.

>> Cloudveil has hired Dwight Hinds and Jim Merten of DH Enterprises as the company's new sales representatives for California, Nevada and Arizona.

>> Axcent Sports, the exclusive supplier of Descente cycle, run and fitness apparel in the United States, has hired three additional sales agencies. Kevin Farley will cover Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. RP Active Sports will handle the Midwest with Rick Dewbrey covering Indiana and Illinois, Peter Leugers covering Wisconsin, Minneapolis, North Dakota and South Dakota, John Sherwin covering Illinois and Wisconsin, and Trevor Litten for Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa. Brad Tanner Associates will cover the New England market and include Brad Tanner for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, and Matt McDonald for Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


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