Vail’s Arn Menconi: Teva makes big announcement at trade show
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Editor’s note: Arn Menconi, executive director of Avon-based youth nonprofit SOS Outreach, is on the road attending various ski and snowboard industry tradeshows and conferences. He’ll be sending periodical dispatches from the events, telling readers what’s new and interesting in the world of snow sports. This dispatch came Friday from the Outdoor Retailer winter tradeshow in Salt Lake City, Utah.
SALT LAKE CITY – It’s day two at the Outdoor Retailer winter show, the four-day outdoor tech and gear extravaganza that draws more than 21,000 attendees, and the good news is that the industry is reporting new events, such as the Teva Winter Mountain Games, rebounding sales and cool new gear.
This show, which comes right before next week’s snowsports industry tradeshow in Denver (the SIA Snow Show), is geared towards the more “granola” crowd – those who love the backcountry, who are out climbing and generally are healthy, fit and love the outdoors. While next week’s SIA show attendees might be vying for VIP tickets to the best parties, these guys are out early to catch fresh powder and sunrise views.
With hundreds of brands and companies represented, it’s been incredibly fun to see all the latest products and technology that will probably be making it into people’s gear stashes this year.
One of the biggest announcements made today was that Teva will be producing the first ever Teva Winter Mountain Games in Vail next year, said Joel Heath, global marketing director for the company.
The new event, which is the cold-weather equivalent of the very successful summer games, will feature ice climbing, avalanche dog events, telemarking, trail running, as well as winter downhill, cross country and freeride mountain biking.
“The Teva Mountain Games have been such a great event in the Vail Valley for so long – we’re coming up on 10 years,” Heath said “We’re a year-round brand, and to give that kind of platform to athletes in the wintertime just seemed like a natural opportunity.”
Also, North Face unveiled its new eco-friendly waterproof technology, which will be used on all their waterproof gear. The base that makes the clothing water repellent is made of environmentally friendly ingredients and the materials are biodegradable. In addition, some of the company’s clothing lines are now made with 50 percent recycled materials.
The eco-friendly lines prove that companies can make products both sustainable and profitable, said North Face Vice President Steve Rendle.
“For us, sustainability is a core guiding principle,” he said. “We want to do the right thing, but also be rigorous financially. The better we do financially, the more we can put into the business, and the more we can put into our sustainability efforts.”
Cascade Designs was showing off a four-season sleeping pad under their Neoair Technology line. The mat is one of the lightest and warmest on the market, said Ken Meidell, vice president of sales, marketing and product development.
“We’ve made it up to three times warmer and far more stable than any other uninsulated air mattress available,” he said. “It’s been one of the most successful product launches we’ve had, and we’ve gotten really good feedback from retailers.”
Friday night will be the Outdoor Inspiration Awards presented by Adidas. Grants will be given to four groups, organizations and individuals for their efforts to foster the enjoyment of, participation in and support for outdoor activities. SOS Outreach was a finalist among hundreds of nominations for the award, and another nonprofit with Vail ties, First Descents, is one of the winners.