Ski biz mecca blooms at downtown Denver’s Battery621

Battery621, downtown Denver's new ski business mecca, is officially open for business, housing Spyder's new showrooms, the Icelantic Ski offices, and a bunch of hot young brands that can't wait for the SIA Snow Show to start.
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Already home to SnowSports Industries America’s Snow Show, and long the gateway to Colorado’s market leading mountains, Denver now has its own manufacturer and media mecca at Battery621.

Located in the heart of downtown Denver, the recently completed 30,000-square-foot building is, first and foremost, the new home of Spyder Active Sports’ international showrooms. In addition to Spyder, the building is the headquarters of Icelantic Skis, Wink Inc. multi-media productions, The Public Works project management and fabrication company, as well as PR companies such as Something Independent and Hayter Communications.

“We started talking about this two years ago, when this building was just a shell,” said Public Works founder Mike Arzt, who is co-owner of 621 with Jason Winkler of Wink Inc. “The building was empty for five years, and we had to replace every window and re-grind all of the floors, in addition to basically re-constructing it from the inside out.”

Arzt said getting a five-year commitment from Spyder as the building’s keystone tenant was key to the project. Utilizing some of the brand’s existing trade show pieces, as well as recycled leather and locally sourced beetle-kill pine for construction, Arzt said, “We built them a beautiful showroom on a flat budget.”

Spyder employees, who still call Boulder home base, are constantly at Battery621, walking international clients through upcoming collections via a series of slideout closets.

“The closets are 32 feet long and seven feet deep,” said Brady Collings, Spyder's visual design director, who oversaw the project. “And we designed some ski chairlifts covered with a special fabric for our buyers to sit on while they see the line. It”s all a very modern alpine look that is representative of how our brand tries to innovate and push with our product.”

Adding to the creative energy of the space are catwalks for fashion shows, fabrication shops for the on-site building of new design elements, edit bays for film and video, and offices for other company brands and visiting athletes.

As a business move, the synergy of having all of the like-minded businesses under one roof has created opportunities for the new tenants. Annelise Loevelie, sales and marketing director for Icelantic, said potential retail and distribution partners started knocking on her door the first week.

“For us to be in the same building with Spyder is especially huge, because from now until January, they have a major account coming in to see them every day of the week,” said Loevelie. “In the first six days we were here, I talked to their Japanese and Chilean distributors who just dropped in because they liked the way our skis looked.”

There are plans to host screenings, gallery showings and open houses in the space, especially during the SIA Snow Show at the end of January, when the entire wintersports industry hits Denver for one week.

“I think it is just going to be nuts around here during SIA with us hosting events,” said Arzt. “I have just brought in a guy to start looking at all of that.”

For more on Battery621, including the blog, construction photos and a full list of partners, check out www.battery621.com

--Peter Kray

On Oct. 6, 2010, veteran journalist Peter Kray joined the SNEWS team and is now editor of the new SNEWS WinterSports channel. We trust you are enjoying the full offering of WinterSports news. Be sure to email your friends and let them know the best WinterSports news has arrived -- just in time for the start of the winter season. Got WinterSports news? Send your WinterSports news to Kray at pkray@snewsnet.com. Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at snewsbox@snewsnet.com to learn about posting your own news releases, or for any other questions or comments. We love to hear from our readers!

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