SNEWS, Backpacker and Horny Toad to Name 2011 Retailers of the Year

On Thursday, January 20, 2011 at the Red Door in Salt Lake City, UT, SNEWS, Backpacker and program sponsor Horny Toad, will honor six outdoor retailers as recipients of the 2011 Retailer of the Year Award, a recognition given annually to outdoor retailers who embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and who serve as visionaries for the outdoor market and leaders of the communities they serve.
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Boulder, CO, December 15, 2010 - On Thursday, January 20, 2011 at the Red Door in Salt Lake City, UT, SNEWS, Backpacker and program sponsor Horny Toad, will honor six outdoor retailers as recipients of the 2011 Retailer of the Year Award, a recognition given annually to outdoor retailers who embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and who serve as visionaries for the outdoor market and leaders of the communities they serve.

SNEWS President Michael Hodgson and Backpacker Editor in Chief Jonathan Dorn will formally award one retailer the title of “Retailer of the Year” and six other retailers will be honored as best-in-class in the following categories: Online Retailer, Community, Conservation, Growth of Outdoor Sports, Sustainable Business and Youth Involvement.

“There is no question that specialty outdoor retailers continue to play a very significant and influential role in the growth and development of our outdoor community, “says Michael Hodgson, president of SNEWS. “This award honors exemplary retailers and sets a bar for all other retailers to achieve, with the ultimate goal of establishing a standard for specialty retail excellence nationwide.”

“Specialty retailers are the gatekeepers to our industry and enable consumers to sort through the myriad of product choices available today,” says Jonathan Dorn, editor in chief of Backpacker magazine. “Because store owners and their retail sales employees have become extraordinarily educated about the products and technologies on the market and are highly-skilled in being able to impart that knowledge in a meaningful and engaging way, we’re thrilled to celebrate and recognize their efforts by hosting this awards program.”

With six set categories and one overall winner, the third annual Retailer of the Year Awards are carefully selected through a rigorous judging process following a call for nominations seeking the best outdoor retailers in the United States. After reviewing all nominations, a slate of finalists – determined by a first round of voting by SNEWS and Backpacker editors – will be presented to a panel of judges who evaluate each store based on personal and customer experience, reputation in the outdoor community and overall store reputation.

"The Retailer of the Year awards provides a great opportunity to publicly thank our specialty partners," said Gordon Seabury, CEO of Horny Toad, the lead sponsor of the ROTY awards. "The program recognizes leaders in the industry -- those innovators who are evolving our industry's retail sophistication, value sustainable business practices and give back to their communities," he said. ”It feels great to reward those who make this such a special industry and blaze new trails," Seabury said.

The Retailer of the Year Award winners will be announced on January 20th at an Awards Reception on the first evening of the Winter Outdoor Market tradeshow, hosted by SNEWS, Backpacker and Horny Toad. Outdoor Retailer tradeshow attendees are invited to join the award nominees and industry leaders at the awards celebration located at the Red Door, 57 West 200 South, from 6:00 to 8:00pm on January 20th. The complete list of Retailer of the Year award winners will be announced to the public on snewsnet.com in mid January and in the April issue of Backpacker magazine, on newsstands March 9th.

About SNEWS (Specialty News):

Founded in 1984, SNEWS® is an independent, insider news service for trade professionals in the outdoor, wintersports and fitness industries. Praised for its investigative nature, no holds-barred editorial mission and its attitude, SNEWS is frequently referred to as “the voice of the industry” by its subscribers. SNEWS strives to “create community through communication” and is the only industry news and information source serving all three markets – outdoor, wintersports and fitness. Its network of resources are the acknowledged industry standards for late-breaking insider news and analysis, trend reporting, business education, community-building and retail training that is trusted, inspiring and honest. SNEWS also publishes the Outdoor Retailer Daily and Outdoor Retailer Planning Guide under license from Outdoor Retailer. In addition, SNEWS operates the SNEWS Retail College, an affiliate retailer training program of the OIA Outdoor University. Additionally, SNEWS operates SNEWS TV, the only regularly broadcasted web TV program for the trade covering industry products and events. For more information, call the SNEWS main office, 530-268-8295, or go to www.snewsnet.com.

About Backpacker:

Backpacker (www.backpacker.com) brings the outdoors straight to the reader’s doorstep, inspiring and enabling them to go more places and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world’s first GPS-enabled magazine and website and the only outdoor media whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear and survival tips they publish. Backpacker’s Editors’ Choice Awards, an industry honor recognizing design, feature and product innovation has become the gold standard against which all other outdoor industry awards are measured. In the last four years, Backpacker has won five National Magazine Awards, the publishing industry’s highest honor. In 2008, the magazine won the NMA for General Excellence, joining The New Yorker, Mother Jones, GQ and National Geographic, as top winners in their respective size categories. In 2009, it won three awards, including General Excellence Online. Backpacker has also won numerous other print, design and digital awards and its writers have been recognized in prestigious contests and best-of-the-year anthologies.

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