Vail Valley businesses reaching snow industry, world at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show
DENVER — The blue bear peeking through the Denver Convention Center is getting a first glimpse at what’s next in the snow industry at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, in its second year removed from Utah and combining with the SIA show.
The show is where outdoor and snow industries come together and a place for brands to reach larger, more diverse and valuable retail audiences. It’s a place where Vail Valley businesses get to reach out to the world of snowsports with a short drive, too.
Dave Bombard sealed his first distributor for Bishop, a telemark ski company based out of Edwards. He had been in contact with this distributor for years, but they were able to meet in person at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show.
“In this industry, we want to have a mix,” he said. “We need to be in stores and retail, and we still do direct and that’s important to our business, but it’s important to work with our dealers as well.”
With the deal, Bishop products will be soon be distributed in a retail store in Japan.
“In Japan, he says there’s a small but very steady and dedicated tele community,” Bombard said of his new partner overseas.
QuietKat makes electric utility vehicles for access purposes in Eagle, currently in its third season building the all-electric, all-utility bikes.
“One of our biggest markets is in the hunting market space, but we’re also here at Outdoor Retailer exploring the outdoor market and getting them more into the outdoor recreation space,” said Chase Perry, of QuietKat.
Tim Dyer and Liberty Skis based out of Avon sell nationally in New England, Midwest and Southern California. The team is at the Outdoor Retailer show showing off its newest line of skis for retailers from all over to check out.
“There’s a lot of really hot targets outside of Colorado,” Dyer said. “The ski industry is resilient. Skiers want to ski, but in a snow year like we’re having right now it’s a little easier to sell the skis.”
Liberty is releasing a new Evolv Series featuring “vertical metal” technology as well as tinkering with its most popular skis, the 106, reducing its rocker profile about 50 percent in the tip to provide more stability.
For Weston Backcountry, another valley business in Denver for the show running through Friday, there’s a lot to show off.
“We’re always excited to be at the show,” said Leo Tsuo, of Weston. “This is definitely one of the best and more important shows for brands like ours.”
Tsuo said he thought a lot of people were balancing the Outdoor Retailer and SIA shows when they were split, but now combined, he notices more happening now with the consolidation and move from Utah.
“We couldn’t be happier,” Tsuo said of being in Denver. “We’re super grateful that they chose here instead of Utah — and good for me because I don’t have to travel as far.”
Weston continues to crank out one of the deepest lines of splitboards, is expanding its women’s line and entering the world of skis.
“We actually found out that we’re the No. 2 largest splitboard company in the world from a gross sales standpoint,” he said. “For a small company that started in the Vail Valley to hit that No. 2 spot for splitboards is incredible for us.”
The group at Weston also continues its education outreach, something Tsuo says the company takes “responsibility” in doing.
Justin Carter is at the show with his Eagle County-based company Brand-On, creating branding and merchandise for brands that want retail.
“There’s lots of contacts from across the country with common ground of outdoor snowsports,” he said.
Also at Outdoor Retailer is Hovland Snowskates, a snow-skate company that will be in Minturn on Saturday for a “throwback, grassroots” snow-skate event.
Outdoor Business Climate Partnership formed
On Wednesday at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, Outdoor Industry Association, Snowsports Industries America and the National Ski Areas Association announced the formation of the Outdoor Business Climate Partnership, an alliance that will provide leadership on advocacy and inspire meaningful action on climate change across the outdoor business sector.
Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
Justin Fillmore and his dog Parker had no shelter from the storm when the snow arrived Thursday.