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Summer 2010 Outdoor Retailer Show

August 15, 2010

Earlier this year, the Outdoor Retailer Summer Show was held in Salt Lake City. This is the biggest trade show for the outdoor industry, with a companion winter show held in December. Last year attendance and displays were off due to the economy, but this year found a 15% growth in attendance and displays, and a positive attitude by all!
Here in Salt Lake we have a plethora of opportunities that others around the nation, and world, could only dream about. Put aside the proximity of world class skiing, hiking, biking, running, paddling, and more. When you need a rest from the multitude of outdoor activities, you can casually tour the old stomping grounds of the humble founders of GORE. In addition, Salt Lake City is the regular host to the biannual Outdoor Retailer Show. In the midst of all of the excitement and energy of this year’s Summer OR Show, the local MountainTechs hosted a variety of events to express gratitude and enthusiasm.

Prior to the beginning of the OR show, we hosted an all Utah MountainTechs and GORE team members BBQ at Pete Stoughton’s home in Sugarhouse. Unfortunately, due to timing and GORE commitments, no members of GORE were able to attend. Instead, a group of more then 10 MountainTechs arrived on an atypical warm, dry Salt Lake City summer evening. With the compliments of Utah’s finest carbonated beverages, grilled burgers and a setting sun the evening continued successfully. As the evening wrapped up, we concluded to raid Pete’s closet for a photo shoot. Thanks GORE and MountainTechs for the wardrobe.

On another morning, around 6 MountainTechs meet with Yvonne Erickson and Tom Boyle for Breakfast. They generously provided breakfast, interesting news about Patagonia and some of the new technologies and marketing strategies they are pursuing. It was awesome to get an inside scoop on Gore happenings and an excellent breakfast.

By mid week, many of the local MountainTechs had already spent numerous hours perusing the showroom floors, networking with outdoor industry folks and snagging swag and beta. More importantly we all made it essential to pop on by the GORE booth to express gratitude and appreciate for their generosity and hard work making an excellent product that supports our life’s interests. For some this time simply involved meeting and greeting with all of the GORE team members. For others it entailed doing recon work, helping with surveys and just having a great time. I, along with others like Tim Asay, helped with the Survey work to determine the effectiveness of the marketing strategies of companies at the show. Tim found that many people often only looked at the overhead banners to locate desire companies. I on the other hand, determined through very quantitative analysis that the use of models, such as that of the Reef girls, was extremely effective and memorable to the OR show participants. Due to this strong statistical correlation, I offered my services to GORE. Wisely, the GORE members refused my offer to advertise GORE while standing around in my speedo. Perhaps the winter show will bring new interest in my theory. 

For the 15th straight year, Montrail, along with many other sponsors, hosted the Wasatch Wobble 5k. This is a hilarious 5k fundraiser for the Conservation Alliance. More then 200 OR participants were bussed up to the local trails above beautiful Red Butte Gardens. As I arrived with my trusty stead (dog), I saw countless masked crusaders and exhilarated runners pounding to he registration tables. Coincidentallly, there happened to be a large GORE vehicle in everyone’s’ line of sight. Great parking GORE. While there at the race, runners could participate in a Superhero costume contest, push contest, saving distressed kittens or simply race. Although I didn’t have time to chat, several racers had GORE shirts on. All in all a great time.

On one of the last nights of the OR show, several MountainTechs gathered to ride one of the best trails Salt Lake City has to offer. Albeit a small group, we had another opportunity to share experiences together as MountainTechs. I organized this ride to start at Puke Hill up in Big Cottonwood Canyon. After climbing this infamous section, we cruised during a beautiful sunset along the Wasatch Crest Trail. Not withstanding some technical difficulties, we returned to our cars at dark and par took of taste beverages, a Salt Lake tradition.

This year’s Summer OR show was amazing. We were able to better unite local MountainTechs, experience the OR Summer Show and network with our new friends at GORE. More importantly, we were able to begin, what we hope to continue, are long standing traditions of Salt Lake hospitality during the Outdoor Retailer biannual shows. To those looking forward to the winter, expect another dinner at the Stoughton’s home and at least a day of skiing the best snow on Earth!!!

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