Stevie Sidener attends Winter Market months after near deadly fall

To anyone with the slightest inkling of what he has gone through in the past six months, the sight of Stevie Sidener walking the floor of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market was stunning. Those not in the know wondered: "What's the big deal? He looks the same as always."

To anyone with the slightest inkling of what he has gone through in the past six months, the sight of Stevie Sidener walking the floor of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market was stunning. Those not in the know wondered: "What's the big deal? He looks the same as always."

A principal partner of Alpin Sales (a repping agency in the Rockies for Marmot, K2 Telemark, Garmont, Bridgedale and Jetboil), Sidener has been in the outdoor industry for more than three decades. A fixture of every SIA and Outdoor Retailer trade show since the days of the "Polyester Parties," industry veterans will recognize Sidener even if they don't know him.

On July 5, 2004, Sidener fell 30 feet to the ground when a ladder collapsed while he was hanging window shutters on his house. A mid-air maneuver saved his life but he shattered both wrists, dislocated both shoulders and received a severely depressed skull fracture on the right forehead.

It was touch and go for the first few days, with a strong possibility that he wouldn't make it. Doctors credit his high level of fitness from years of cycling and skiing with helping him pull through.

Just when things were looking up, a serious infection set in that nearly killed him. The situation was so critical that a decision had to be made to re-open the skull and remove some infected brain tissue, which had unknown and potentially devastating consequences -- without the operation, though, death was a certainty.

Remarkably, Sidener pulled through with nearly all of his mental functions, and his sense of humor, intact. For the next five months, he lacked a large portion of skull and was in physical therapy while his wrists recovered.

Although insurance covered the medical bills, there were still significant expenses for out-of-hospital care. (Lesson to all: get disability insurance!) Spearheaded by Steve Crisafulli, the outdoor industry stepped up to the plate in a big way to make hefty contributions to a fund.

Things were looking well in December but there was still the matter of the missing skull section. Never one to do things the easy way, Sidener again took his friends on a rollercoaster of worry when his body struggled to accept the prosthetic skull -- his ninth major operation. Just weeks before Winter Market, he was back in the hospital for an extended stay.

So it was pretty amazing that Sidener was even at the show, let alone seeing appointments. He was so excited to get back in the swing of things that he spent two days studying the workbooks. If he looked tired when you saw him, blame that on the 4 a.m. alpine start since doctors only cleared Sidener for a one-day visit.

As he made his way around the show, with the help of wife Sandy, seeing friends and sitting in on appointments with partner Mark Vaughn, Sidener, who grew up in Montana, often joked about his ordeal with, "Yep, Norwegians are resilient."

There's still a long way to go on the road to recovery, but Sidener is already back in the office, and he'll be at the Copper Mountain demo adjusting bindings. Of course, he said he's already chomping at the bit to go snowshoeing and track skiing. And he'll be at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market back in the full swing of things with the Alpin Sales team.


Outdoor Retailer Winter Market '07: Setting size and attendance records

For those who wondered last year if Outdoor Retailer Winter Market could manage to get bigger and still remain relevant, wonder no more. Winter Market 2007 was indeed much bigger in terms of exhibit hall space and overall attendance. As we heard from the floor of the SIA more

OR Winter Market: Attendance Light, Time to Schmooze

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market became less of a market and more of a gathering for many exhibitors at this year's show in Anaheim, Calif. SNEWS® heard the gamut of responses to the question "How's the show for you?": "This sucks." "Slow, but good." "Getting lots of time to visit more

Did you hear?... Stevie Sidener is the recipient of the Nikwax DWR Award

Officials from Nikwax Waterproofing Systems announced that sales representative Stevie Sidener of Alpin Sales is the recipient of the prestigious Nikwax DWR (Damn Wonderful Rep) Award for 2001. The award is extended to the entire Alpin Sales team, a sales representative agency more

Ilan Katz shuts Miami store after three months

Three months after opening a small specialty fitness shop in North Miami, former Fitness Headquarters vice president, Ilan Katz, has said he will shutter the store, move back to Texas, and go back to his former position at Fitness HQ. He left Fitness HQ last fall to fulfill a more

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market '05 -- attendance up, smiles abound

Despite being right after SIA, and right on top of SHOT (thank goodness SHOT is back to its February dates next year) Outdoor Retailer Winter Market staff can smile broadly as most exhibitors, reps and retailers told us they had a fantastic show. There were a few folks wondering more


Outdoor Retailer Winter Market audited numbers confirm buyer attendance down for 2008

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market recently released its audited attendance numbers to SNEWS®, confirming what many who attended the 2008 trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah, suspected -- buyer and store traffic was down even though overall attendance remained high. But, what does more


Volume Fitness turns it off in US/Canada after 16 months

A down economy that only got worse has forced new supplier Volume Fitness to turn off its business in the United States and Canada after launching barely 16 months ago. The company, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, began phasing out operations as of June 1, although its retail more

Nau shuts doors after only 14 months

Nau Inc. is shutting its doors forever. Despite having raised $35 million in financing in previous rounds of funding, Nau was unsuccessful in its attempt to secure additionally needed funding in a series D round. As a result, Nau's board of directors voted to shut down. And, the more


Bear Grylls to attend Outdoor Retailer Winter Market

Bear Grylls, of Discovery Channel’s “Man Versus Wild” fame, might be up against his biggest challenge yet – navigating the Outdoor Retailer show floor. The survival expert is scheduled to attend Winter Market in Salt Lake City on day one of the trade show, Jan. 19, 2012, SNEWS more