Industry Buzz: Granite Gear, Tecnica and Blizzard, Outdoor Retailer, Reef, Bear Bowls, and more

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  • Granite Gear, the Northern Minnesota-based backpack manufacturer, is mourning the passing of former partner Mike Cruikshank. In a news release, Granite Gear said that to brother and Co-founder Dan Cruikshank, Mike was a role model. A Green Beret, paratrooper, skilled sales man, mentor and near-professional golfer, Mike was known as a caring man with many gifts. He took a chance in 1991 and invested his money and talents as a third partner at Granite Gear. 
  • VF Corporation, which is moving its headquarters to Denver, Colorado next year, is selling the Reef brand to The Rockport Group of Newton, MA, the maker of casual and dress shoes. VF CEO Steve Rendle said: “Reshaping VF’s brand portfolio to deliver sustainable, long-term growth and superior returns to shareholders remains our top priority. Today’s announcement is another step toward delivering on the commitments outlined in our multi-year business strategy. We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Rockport. The Reef brand is an iconic, beach lifestyle brand, and Rockport is well-positioned to guide its next phase of growth.”
  • On Monday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is visiting Montana to reportedly sign off on a proposal that would block new mining claims on 30,000 acres of public lands near Yellowstone National Park.
  • Outdoor Retailer announced the 12 judges for the inaugural Innovation Awards. They are Rich Hill, Sally McCoy, Brandon Stoddard, Doug Schnitzspahn, D’Wayne Edwards, Jennifer Nolfi, Jim Thomsen, Nona Barker, Susan Sokolowski, Tracy Gray, Wanda Weller, and our very own, Kristin Hostetter.
  • Start planning now for Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Outdoor Industry Association has released its schedule of events, from a retail-focused breakfast to industry lunches to everything in between. Check it out here.
  • A Spokane couple is taking their outdoor gear idea to "Shark Tank," the ABC show showcasing entrepreneurs. Cory and Heidi Santiago launched Bear Minimum in 2017, and they square camping cook pots called Bear Bowls—flame-resistant and foldable.