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B$Z: Industry Takes to the Slopes to Test Gear, Hang with Friends

February 2, 2011

Industry Takes to the Slopes to Test Gear, Hang with Friends
at On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest

The 2nd annual SIA On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest (Jan 31-Feb 1) at Winter Park Resort and Devil's Thumb Ranch & Nordic Center wrapped up today after a record turn-out of 1,750 buyers and two days filled with gear testing, parties and a little competition among friends. The Demo provides the perfect transition onto the slopes after four days of meetings and product demos at last week’s 2011 SIA Snow Show (Jan 27-30).  During the two-day Ski-Ride Fest, snow sports retailers and media tested out gear and accessories they just previewed at the Show including ski, snowboard, AT, telemark and backcountry products.

"This year the whole Snow Show experience has been really great for us – both in Denver and out here – couldn’t ask for a better location and it’s always great to hang with friends post-show,” said Jenny Naftulin, Alpine Brand Manager for Salomon.

“Being here definitely made a difference in what we’ll carry next year – I’ve added orders based on new things I’ve tried here the last couple days,” said Bette Moore, buyer for Village Skis and Bikes in the DC area.

“I heard this was a lot of fun last year, so I had to check it out myself – I’m having a blast,” commented Clem Smith, Tecnica/Blizzard sales rep from California/Nevada.

Winter Park Resort acted as base camp for all lift service testing and at nearby Devil’s Thumb Ranch & Nordic Center the beautifully groomed Nordic trails were ideal for experiencing the latest Nordic and snowshoe technology while taking in the majestic Colorado surroundings.

“It’s been great out here at Devil’s Thumb -- a little cold, a little bit of fresh snow on the ground -- the trails are beautifully groomed and this facility really is amazing,” said John O’Connor at Madshus.

“It was great to host the On-Snow Demo and see many new and repeat Nordic enthusiasts as well as media and guests.  We also enjoyed having a full house for Monday night's New Belgium Beer Dinner,” said Holly Johnson, spokesperson for Devil's Thumb Ranch.

“There is so much good stuff being introduced right now, that you really have to get out on the snow and test it for yourself,” said Steve Rogers, President of the Sports Specialists Limited specialty retailer buying group.

In addition to testing out the latest in equipment and accessories, attendees were able to kick-back with industry friends during parties, gatherings and events hosted by SIA and members including the Uphill/Downhill Challenge, Office Booyz & Girlz Competition, 2 Mile High BBQ at the Sunspot and of course après happy hours around the Winter Park Village each day.

Sixty participants formed teams of three for the 2nd annual Uphill/Downhill Challenge, which began at the SCARPA demo tent, continued through the On-Snow Demo booth area up 1,700 feet to Winter Park’s Sunspot Lodge. Once at the Lodge, participants quaffed a beverage of choice and returned back down to the base area finish line. The Uphill/Downhill Challenge’s primary goal was to raise funds for the US Ski Mountaineering Team.

The Office Booyz & Girlz “non-contest” contest featured obstacles that are “office size” for people of all skill levels to participate and have fun. Cornerstone obstacles included the infamous quasi-big air jump and donut jam. More than 30 participants raced in single elimination heats through the terrain park.

The On-Snow Demo was held in conjunction with the WWSRA (Western Winter Sports Representatives Association) Rocky Mountain Demo at Winter Park and CCSAA (Cross Country Ski Areas Association) for the Nordic portion of the Demo at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.  Between both Winter Park Resort and Devil’s Thumb Ranch, more than 150 brands participated at the industry only event.

Check out Live Stream videos, provided by LiveSauce Media, taken last week at the Snow Show as well as coverage of the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest at and SIA’s Facebook page.