Before the 2011 SIA Snow Show opened this week, the industry was given some great news – recent sales data indicated more than $1 billion snow sports goods were sold at retail in December – a record breaking amount. Record sales, coupled with consistent snowfall across the country gave the four-day event a positive kick-off.
On Thursday morning, local officials gathered to welcome the entire industry and signal the start of the Snow Show by ringing cowbells – an old ski racing tradition – during the Opening Ceremony in the Colorado Convention Center’s lobby. Local dignitaries including Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Bill Vidal, VISIT Denver’s Richard Scharf, Colorado Ski Country USA’s Gary Defrange and SIA chairman of the board Tim Petrick all rang their cowbells to officially open the Show.
“Best SIA we have ever had! There’s been good energy and vibe and lots of international buyers. Every order we have written has doubled since last year and it’s only Day Two,” said Annelise Loevlie, International Sales/Marketing Icelantic Skis.
“There’s just lots of great stuff – the new fabrics: plaids are leaving, and now we have solids, but they’re in good, bright colors. The energy’s back. Finally people are spending money again,” said Kevin Cooper of Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Tahoe, California.
Last night’s Snow Fashion & Trends Show had plenty of fashion and a little bit of sass with the grand finale RAMP IT UP, which featured notable industry veterans (all men) working the catwalk in women’s winter fashions. Industry bigwigs including David Ingemie, SIA President, George Curleigh, National Sales Manager for Arc’teryx, Dan Sullivan, Director of Sales for Rome Snowboards and many more lovelies tapped into their feminine side to show their support in the RAMP IT UP finale – a fundraiser for the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) that raised $10,000 for educational programs.
During the fashion show, contestants for the RECLAIM Project – an on-site design contest presented by 686, Malakye.com and SIA – were also introduced to the crowd of Show attendees. RECLAIM Project is the ultimate 72-hour challenge for new designers. The unique design contest was created to cultivate emerging talent while encouraging environmental awareness. The three handpicked RECLAIM Project designers Kristen Nuttall (New York, NY), Julie Tierney (Brooklyn, NY) and Megan Johnston (Alta, Utah) are currently hard at work in the lobby of the Colorado Convention Center designing and sewing their one-of-kind creations. The winner of the competition will be announced tomorrow (Sat/Jan 29) at 5PM.
Fashion-forward attendees also gathered for a standing room only seminar entitled F/W 12 Color + Snowsports Trends, led by Jeanine Pesce a fashion forecaster with New York-based consulting firm Stylesight. Pesce provided retailers and manufacturers with valuable information on fashion trends based on her extensive travel, research and study of fashion influences.
The Growing Participation Breakfast, held this morning, took a closer look at how the industry can get new skiers and snowboarders into snow sports and get those who are hooked, to keep coming back for more. Speakers include Tim Petrick, President of Rossignol, Michael Berry, President of NSAA, Paul Prutzman, Chairman of NSSRA, Raelene Davis, Director of Marketing, Ski Utah & Chairperson of LSSM, and Glen Plake, Ambassador, Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
Many industry leaders were honored at various award presentations, including SIA’s Rep & Retailer of the Year Awards and the Doc DesRoches Award. Snow Sports Retailers and Reps were acknowledged for their consistent efforts at making an impact in the snow sports industry at the Retailer and Rep of the Year Award ceremony as well as the Gart Family, known for their retail legacy, with the SIA Industry Achievement Award. U.S. Ski Team supplier HEAD skis was the recipient of the eighth Doc DesRoches Award — the recognition is made annually by SIA and the U.S. Ski Team to recognize a SIA member and Team supplier for its promotion of the Team’s brand and athletes.
Legendary ski star Glen Plake added “Certified Ski Instructor” to his resume when he completed the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Alpine Level I certification exam this week. Plake will also be inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame this April – so he was celebrating both milestones during the Snow Show.
The Snow Show will draw an estimated 19,000 attendees including manufacturers, retailers, reps, athletes and personalities from the snow sports industry. The sold-out Snow Show will feature 893 snow sports brands including over 110 new exhibitors.
After the Show, the industry will head up to the mountains for the second annual international On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest (January 31-February 1) at Winter Park Resort and Devil’s Thumb Ranch, where the industry will get together to demo the gear they’ve just seen at the Show and to ski, ride and slide together. Over 150 brands will be involved in this industry only, two-day event filled with demos, races parties and catching up with industry friends.
LiveSauce Media will be filming live stream video from the Show and the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest. Host and pro skier Kim Havell has been broadcasting all of today’s action at siasnowshow.com and SIA’s Facebook page. The crew will also be broadcasting from the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest on Monday, January 31st from Winter Park Resort and Devil’s Thumb Ranch.