ISPO 2017 – In Flight


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 10, 2017      

I wonder at the number of times I’ve flown out of the Aspen airport on the fifty minute Denver hop. Not as many trips as the lawyers and other bigwigs who commute to and fro, but enough to have lost count years ago. As with anything repetitive, I suppose there are those veterans who might nap during the flight until awoken by the rough air often encountered when you hit the invisible rotors over the Continental Divide.

It's way better than a boat.

It’s way better than a boat. Airbus A330-300 prepping for another haul.

Not me. I’m not the guy napping until my head snaps like a bullwhip and cracks my face into the folded meal tray. Nope, I’m the guy with my nose glued to the Plexiglas checking out my beloved Colorado mountains. If I’m injured, it’ll be from my neck twisting like a tourist choosing meat and cheese at their first Italian buffet breakfast. Seriously, could happen.

Most flights from Aspen east to Denver do their takeoff in the opposite direction, heading westerly during the roll. That means for a few minutes a left window seat gets a grandstand view of the high Elk Mountains leading to Mount Sopris, the signature peak rising over WildSnow home town of Carbondale. In what feels like a double “jink” sort of maneuver, the aircraft swings east. At that point, you’re hosed if you’re in the left-hand, now the right-hand windows have a grand view of Colorado’s highest jags.

Soon you’re gliding over the Continental Divide with Colorado’s highest peak, Mount Elbert to your right. Elbert’s sister peak Mount Massive is just a tiny bit lower but much closer. It’s clearly more burly than Elbert, a stupendous massif with numerous summits and nearly endless ski terrain that’s usually as crowded with ski tourers as something you’d reach after a 2-day burro trek in the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca.

Seconds later the village of Leadville is obvious, with 14,000+ foot Mount Sherman humping up behind. Another good ski peak though the upper reaches are often wind scoured. Leadville is in a strange location. You don’t realize it when you’re there on the ground, but when viewed from the air you see how the town is perched on a high altitude shelf above what are possibly much more friendly locations. It’s up there because that’s where the silver was during the mining boom of the eighteen hundreds.

A few minutes and often a few turbulence bumps later, you’re over Colorado’s eastern plains and it’s wheels down at Denver International Airport.

My layover isn’t long. I get to the Lufthansa departure gate and first thing notice it’s not a full flight. That’s what you look for on these things — you want that extra vacant seat next to you or it’s 50-50 you’re in for a world of hurt. It could be ten hours with someone else’s baby kicking your arm, or a big fat guy snoring ten inches from your left ear. Amazing what we endure to avoid going by boat.

While tuning my seat assignment I joke around with the friendly counter person about a 1st class upgrade. “Only $965,” she says, “and it’s yours.” I’m reading a Lee Child novel and he says Jack Reacher got the upgrade for free while wearing his military uniform. I thought my WildSnow.com bill cap would get me in there too.

The half full Airbus A330-300 just feels so, right. I kick back in a double on the deuce isle next to the port windows. Yes, I’ve got the empty seat next to me. The movie selection is for some reason more dismal than expected, but I find a Beatles music documentary and bounce between that and a wonderful animation of the flight in progress. Beautiful, switching between different views including what you’d see out the cockpit windows or simulating the look down as if you’re in another plane flying above the A330.

After a Lufthansa glass or two, I curl up on the seats, pull on my eye shields on and plug my ears, and wake up 45 minutes from Munich with the snack cart bumping my feet. Coffee, tea, or orange juice?

Perfect.

Quick note: I’ve been asked why I go to the effort of attending ISPO Munich. Beyond the excuse to travel Europe, I allude to reasons in my recent ISPO blog posts: for example, access to principle management in European based concerns. Another reason for attending ISPO is all brands are there, ski and other. It’s simply big, and cool, with record attendance this year due to an increase of 6 percent to more than 80,000 attendees!

More, the trade show situation in the U.S. has become a joke. Not only are the “shows” split up between three confusing and resource draining venues (OR in Salt Lake, SIA in Denver, and regional “rep” shows), but companies such as Arc’teryx and Patagonia are playing games with which shows they’re attending.

Recently, Arc’teryx and Patagonia announced they wouldn’t be displaying at OR 2018 due to the proposals and attitudes of certain Utah politicians regarding public lands. That sounds like BS to me, as Utah isn’t going to destroy their public lands and outdoor recreation any more than Colorado is doing so with industrial skiing, or Wyoming is with ranching. Further, it’s not clear how much power the Utah politicians nor even the President really have in this game.

I suspect that the reality is far different. My suspicion is a lot of companies are wondering why they are spending upwards of half a million dollars to do the OR trade show, when most orders are written at other times and the internet does a fine job of getting gear information out to the public — with or without trade shows.

My suspicion is that Arc’teryx and Patagonia have found a way to bow out and look good while doing so, by playing the environmental card, when they’ve probably been thinking for some time that they should and could reduce their expenditures on trade showing.

And spend the money on ISPO?

(Addendum: Perhaps the numbers tell the tale. This year’s 2017 ORWM had a nearly 10% attendance drop from ORWM 2016. We noticed the quieter show this season, so I wasn’t surprised at these numbers. As to my point here, what if you were spending a boatload of cash on a trade show, and no one came? While the ISPO actually increased by 6% and has more than eight times the attendance?)

Indeed, both companies looked good at ISPO Munich, while I’m sure they could find excellent reasons to boycott it as well if they wanted. For example, every year they’re building ski lifts in the Tirol on perfectly fine ski touring routes, or is that too far away from Munich to register? On the other hand, Germany is looking pretty good in terms of their environmental progress, and they don’t have issues about preserving vast tracts of defacto wilderness — because they have none. Perhaps Patagonia should move it’s offices from California to Deutschland?

Don’t get me wrong here, I like both Arc’teryx and Patagonia. It’s just that this boycott of a tradeshow due to the state it’s in seems inauthentic and poorly considered.

Comments

86 Responses to “ISPO 2017 – In Flight”

  1. David Hackbarth February 10th, 2017 9:23 am

    Lou,

    I don’t agree at all with your statements on Patagonoia or Arc’teryx boycotting the OR show because of economic reasons…..
    We all need to STAND UP, SPEAK UP to support causes the environment and protect our recreation areas that are threatened. Many of our rights are being threatened. Last night there was a Town Hall meeting by Utah Rep. Jason Chavettz with a MAJOR OUTSTANDING SUPPORT for the Bears Ears and protecting our environment. (many other items came up too, you can imagine) Many strong groups such as Protect Our Winters were involved.
    Now I understand the failing economics of trade shows…….. but to undercut these two thoughtful Companies and others efforts to send a clear message to those in Utah about the environment ……. I DO NOT AGREE WITH YOU AT ALL ON!
    Step up LOU!

  2. Chris February 10th, 2017 9:51 am

    Lou,

    I read your fine site often, but I agree with David. I think your cynical perspective is missing the point and clouding your view. There are many other companies with much more damaging business practices, particularly than these two, that you could ridicule over public lands issues if that’s really your beef. It’s an interesting phenomena when companies are criticized for taking a stand on an environmental/political issue, whether they may gain monetarily or not, and someone spins it differently. Maybe your just opposed to the use of the Antiquities Act or the Bears Ears designation? If they can make a statement and help their bottom line, more power to them. Let it be.

  3. See February 10th, 2017 10:08 am

    I wonder what they think in Deutschland about respecting the tribes in North America? I suspect they might be a bit more sympathetic to the boycotters.

  4. Lou Dawson 2 February 10th, 2017 10:25 am

    Thanks guys, appreciate the perspective. I think my main point is here we have Utah, which is in fine shape in terms of recreation on public land, then we have these companies boycotting Utah for some kind of possible future event that probably won’t effect recreation one iota. I think that’s where my cynicism comes from. That was my point about Colorado or Wyoming, if they move the OR show to those places, the extension of the logic means Arcteryx and Patagonia should continue to not attend any OR shows, and thus I wonder at their real motivation. In other words, if they boycott Utah then do a booth at OR Colorado, what really is the difference? Colorado has a gas patch and a bunch of fracking that is not exactly Patagonia’s favorite thing, I assume….

    I have to wonder if some of this is a beef with the overall conservative Mormon culture of Utah, which I know for a fact has always made folks in these companies pretty uncomfortable. Or again, just an excuse to quite doing trade shows in general. Other than ISPO… ‘

    Lou

  5. luke February 10th, 2017 11:00 am

    I think that yes both companies know they are not going to loose (and probably gain) PR and $ from not attending the SLC OR. But the other real reason they would do so is to speak out about how the recent change in politics has brought on destructive agendas towards the environment. Yes, cynical bloggers, ultimately the companies know that it probably wont change anything, but at least they tried and they are trying to have their voice heard. The Women’s march didn’t really change anything, but it sure felt right to do. But if everyone does something, maybe some politicians will listen if they hope to be re-elected.

  6. Bruno Schull February 10th, 2017 11:14 am

    There are two good articles about this issue on Alpinist:

    http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web17w/newswire-federal-land-actions

    http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web17w/newswire-patagonia-withdraws-from-or

    If this land was controlled by the state, there does seem to be a good chance that it might not be adequately monitored and/or protected, and there also seems like a good chance that it might be sold to a private developer. All good reasons to try our best to keep the National Park designation. The more protected land, the better, in my opinion.

    That said, I see your points Lou. An outdoor show in CO or many other states would not resolve the problem. And perhaps this is (partly or mostly) a business decision. But, I guess the whole point of a company like Patagonia is to try to find a balance between making a profit and stewardship. That makes sense to me.

  7. countryfunk February 10th, 2017 11:44 am

    This;

    “From Arc’teryx:

    … Funds that would have been spent to attend Outdoor Retailer in 2017 will be reallocated to the Conservation Alliance’s new Public Lands Defense Fund. …”

    pretty much lets the air out of the theory they are using the issue as cover to withdraw from the show for economic reasons doesn’t it?

  8. Patrick February 10th, 2017 11:57 am

    This is about ice – not about snow.
    Last night, hockey in Washington DC. Washington Caps vs Detroit Redwings. Pre-game ceremonial puck drop at centre ice. Team captains at the ready, a young girl drops the puck. She’s wearing her hijab. I felt proud to see the players, owners, and league step up this way.

  9. Ryan February 10th, 2017 12:01 pm

    Lou,

    I think there likely is a decent economic argument for not attending trade shows, or reducing involvement but I don’t think this is what’s going on here.

    The Utah state government has a long and outspoken history of trying to seize federal public lands with the stated goal of selling them off to energy and mining companies. They have repeatedly worked against recreation access in the interests of oil/gas and large mining corporations. In 2012 the Utah legislature passed a bill requiring the majority of federal lands in the state be turned over to state control by 2014; this was called the Utah Transfer of Public Lands Act. Obviously this was a symbolic measure because they don’t have the legal authority to do so (they they argue they do) but that’s a pretty clear anti environment/anti recreation measure. The state government is actively anti-recreation despite it being one of the largest economic drivers in the state.

    At the federal level, Utah representatives and Senators have been at the forefront of legislation to sell off, or transfer to state control (with the goal to then sell off), public lands. They have also called for the reversal of the Bears Ears National Monument executive order, again, because they’d like to allow mining and oil/gas drilling in these areas.

    This rabidly anti public lands stance is the reason for the boycott. So I do think the situation would be different if OR were to be moved to another state, or were in another state already.

  10. Chris February 10th, 2017 1:20 pm

    Ryan, Well stated.

    Lou, Anyone who has followed this issue knows that Utah is leading the charge to transfer federal lands to the state. They are the example to go after economically (that’s all they will listen to) to demonstrate a companies position on conservation/recreation and state control of federal lands. Given that the OR is in Salt Lake, not elsewhere, it gives them the opportunity to take a stand. And, in Arcteryx’s case, and possibly Patagonia’s, it may actually cost them more, not less, to do so. Utah has proposed some many ugly and hateful laws (several cities requiring every citizen to own a firearm for example or not allowing a ban on plastic bottles) in recent years, that you have to vote with your wallet, especially since voting at the ballot box hasn’t made a significant difference.

  11. biggb February 10th, 2017 6:19 pm

    Lou … I support Patagonia, Arcteryx, and any other company taking a harder line on OR, and in effect Utah.

    Rep Jason Chaffetz is one of the key ringleaders pushing to sabotage “public lands” as we have known them … either by mismanagement or straight up selling to the highest bidder.

    All this is happening very clearing in front of our faces. You should see this.

  12. MIke February 10th, 2017 7:00 pm

    Lou,

    For someone who spends the vast majority of his time recreating on public lands your ignorance in understanding the issue is quite appalling. I don’t claim to be any sort of expert but here is my less ignorant understanding of the issue. The Utah congressional delegation wants to get rid of 3.3 million acres of what they call disposable land. Doesn’t seem like that big a deal, 3 million acres out of 600 million acres of public land doesn’t seem like much. However, as soon as that 3 million acres is sold off the first thing the new land owners will do is put up locked gates on all of the roads. No big deal you say, it’s only 3 million acres of ‘disposable” land. Well that 3 million acres provides access of up to 30 million acres, or 5% of your’s, mine and everyone else’s land. That’s a pretty big chunk of land to ski, fish, hunt, bike, etc. on.

    Now you might be thinking ‘Oh, they won’t do that’. So let’s take a look at our great liberal, blue, tree hugging, hippy dope smoking, progressive state of Colorado. 80% of the public land that has been given to Colorado by the Feds is no longer open to public use. It’s leased to oil, gas, mining and logging companies who cut off all public access and run it as privately owned,

    i think that around 300,000 acres are what’s at stake in Colorado. Once again it doesn’t sound like all that much until you realize that the 300,000 acres buys you de facto control of 3 million acres. Some of that 3 million acres you probably backcountry ski on.

    Now correct me if I’m wrong but I seem to recall that you were all fired up a couple of years ago about some rich land owner in your back yard who wanted to obtain public land by dubious means and cut off public access to it. How much you wanna bet that he’s made donations to the right politicians? Next thing ya know, Boom!, that land he wants suddenly becomes ‘disposable'(and your fooling yourself if you think that you or anyone else in the roaring fork valley will be able to bid on it).

    By the way, your don’t have to use public land to access Wildsnow HQ, do ya? Don’t worry, there ain’t nothing around Marble that would interest a mining or logging company.

  13. biggb February 10th, 2017 7:42 pm

    This idea of turning land over to the states sounds innocuous at first … until you realize that NO state could afford to fight even 1 single large fire. Republicans know this, and bank on this being the catalyst (especially here in Idaho) to then quickly privatize and sell off those lands.

    “We must transfer public lands to the states!”

    “We can’t afford to manage these lands!”

    “We must sell these lands to private individuals!”

  14. Nickspresso February 10th, 2017 9:44 pm

    Lou,
    You are spot on the mark, as always. Patagonia has proven to be very strategic about when they appear take the moral high ground, and it has been a marketing coup for them. I was in a Patagonia store recently and overheard a woman verbalizing surprise at the cost of an item, to which the counter employee lectured her about how other companies “hide the true cost of their products” from the customer and that you pay for peace of mind when purchasing Patagonia. Hopefully that exchange is not the norm, but nevertheless, they are clearly becoming more selectively preachy. If they are really concerned about Utah, maybe they should actually attend and have a presence, and have some good discussion about these land issues… oh, but maybe that wouldn’t sound as flashy in a catalog as a boycott…
    Keep up the excellent blog posts Lou!

  15. Lou Dawson 2 February 10th, 2017 10:09 pm

    Mike, the rich land owner I was all fired up about did recently complete his deal to acquire Federal land that will be privatized in his name. This was a Federal deal, not state, and had nothing to do with Utah. As for privatizing public land, sure, I’m generally against it though I was educated somewhat while researching the above deal, and there is a constant flux of privatization, some of which is actually quite logical, such as privatizing truly land locked parcels that are of no use to the public, or doing boundary adjustments to correct survey errors. My point here is not whether I’m for or against privatization, that’s a straw man in this discussion, my point is questioning how appropriate and what the real motivations are behind these boycotts of the OR show.

    In other words, sure, yep, yes, yippee and coyote I’m generally against privatizing public land as probably nearly all WildSnow readers are. Now back to the discussion of these trade show boycots and how appropriate they are. And come to think of it, is there any issue with one of these outfits being a Canadian company throwing their economic weight around in an attempt to manipulate our politics? Quid pro quo? Perhaps Americans should be boycotting Canadian huts due to tar sands oil production contributing to global warming?

  16. Dave Johnson February 10th, 2017 10:19 pm

    Lou,
    You’re essentially accusing Chouinard of lying; pulling out for economic reasons, not environmental ideology. What evidence do you have to support this?
    Dave

  17. Lou Dawson 2 February 10th, 2017 10:21 pm

    Can anyone even imagine the environmentally painful juggernaut ISPO is, what with more than 85,000 people attending, many arriving from overseas using air travel, 2,500 booths, taking over an entire former international airport? It defies belief. I would expect Arcteryx and Patagonia to immediately boycott ISPO as well. Otherwise, this whining and moaning about the behavior of Utah politicians still appears suspect and downright provincial to me. But if Arc and Pati said NO to all trade shows, I’d respect them as people of principle and shut my mouth (though I’d miss them at ISPO 2018). Lou

  18. Lou Dawson 2 February 10th, 2017 10:37 pm

    Dave, I wouldn’t call it lying, just not telling the whole story. You might note that I use the words “suspect” and “suspicion.” And please, using a sacred cow as a red herring (some blogger criticizes Yvon Chouinard OMG!) obfuscates the discussion. Sure, lots of people in the outdoor industry don’t like Utah politics. Yvon probably does not. Certainly that’s part of the reason for this boycott, though last time I looked Patagonia wasn’t a dictatorship. My point, upon examining the evidence such as the cost of trade shows, reduced importance for writing orders, fact that you can find things to boycott just about anywhere, etc., is that there is more to the story. Evidence is sometimes what’s right there in front of your face.

    Oh, and as for donating cost of trade show to an environmental organization, that’s fine but I highly doubt it would truly be the entire cost, including opportunity costs, hassle for employees, and so on. What is more, this gets complicated. For example, many of the OR booths are warehoused in Utah, is Arcteryx going to have their booth hauled to the landfill? Or are they going to continue to pay for warehousing, thus supporting the nefarious outlaw state of Utah? Or is their booth stored in Canada, perhaps utilizing tar sand employees as warehouse workers? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Lou

  19. biggb February 10th, 2017 10:48 pm

    Let’s go your route and stick to the Utah / OR / Boycott issue (and leave Tar Sands out for now).

    I’ve always felt it was critical to vote with my wallet. In my state (Idaho – Dark Red) probably even more important than my actual vote in any election. This leads me to TRY and support politicians and companies that support good government, sustainable practices, quality products, etc …

    And let’s not forget … THE RINGLEADERS of the Privatize lands push (and we’re not talking parcels here … maybe at first, but that’s just an opening salvo) are Rep. Jason Chaffetz (district includes Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon) and Sen. Mike Lee (the whole state). Outdoor Retailer is most definitely in their purview. Is there any bigger twice yearly trade show in Utah? Maybe, but I don’t know what it is. Since 1996 more than $46 million in city, county and state taxes. That’s not chump change.

    http://www.sltrib.com/news/2080357-155/outdoor-retailer-shows-have-generated-nearly

    So how does Patagonia vote with their wallet and try to show elected leaders with radical agendas against public lands (and government in general) that they will not support their agenda? Pulling out of OR is a good start.

    Do you really thing Patagonia management is really concerned over $500k? I doubt it. It seems more to me that Yvon Chouinard is getting to the point where he’s like “FUCK IT” and he’s getting pissed. The idea that this is some new thing that Patagonia (or other companies) are doing goes against clear history. They developed recycled plastics and organic cotton before most companies. They’ve been going hard against useless dams, sustainable salmon fisheries, and funding parkland in other countries that don’t have a history of parks like we do. If anyone thinks this is just a way to have a good story and a photo-op for the catalog … well … they really don’t know shit about that man and his company and really haven’t been paying attention. YC is an agent of change, always has been, and he’s doing more to try and make that change than any of us could dream of. Doubt it all you want. I’d bet OR will move to a City / State / political climate much more conducive to the lifestyle we all generally support … and rightly so. Count me in.

  20. Lou Dawson 2 February 10th, 2017 10:50 pm

    To complete this, both Arcteryx and Patagonia need to publish press releases detailing how their OR booths will be destroyed and perfectly recycled, or re-purposed as low income housing, perhaps for the employees of rival companies who are treated shabbily. And yeah, it appears I need to go skiing (grin). Lou

  21. biggb February 10th, 2017 11:07 pm

    It’s easy to be cynical, but personally I don’t think it’s the way to go.

    In his own words:

    http://www.patagonia.com/blog/2017/01/the-outdoor-industry-loves-utah-does-utah-love-the-outdoor-industry/

  22. Lou Dawson 2 February 10th, 2017 11:19 pm

    Seriously, those of you who study the land privatization issue, which state is the saint that should be hosting the OR show? As for trusting the Feds to somehow do a better job than states, our recent completed privatization deal near Wildsnow HQ was Federal, not state….

    And we’d better not have the OR show in Idaho:

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article75569547.html

  23. Lou Dawson 2 February 10th, 2017 11:34 pm

    BigB, thanks for linking to that. I should have done it in my screed. What is see in the blog post is Chouinard doesn’t like the Utah Governor. He’s writing about how the Governor is “trying” to do this and has “plans” and “efforts.” Ok, so the Utah governor is aligned with energy interests and not outdoor recreation. Is this the end of the world as we know it? I doubt it. And again, where is the saintly state where we should be transferring the OR show to?

    One thing I like about the Chouinard blog post is he refrains from the odd claim that Utah’s outdoor recreation economic is based on Wilderness preservation, a claim I see bandied about here and there in other opinion pieces. Reality is that most of the Utah outdoor recreation economy is based on industrial skiing and motorized recreation, not to mention drilling rock anchors with battery operated electric drills. This requires unlocked non-wilderness public land but is not some kind of bastion of environmental sainthood. Perhaps that’s actually the secret hidden reason why Utah politicians don’t like national monuments, as that sort of designation probably precludes designating more 4×4 trails and ski lifts, and can lead to fixed anchor bans for rock climbers.

    Lou

  24. biggb February 10th, 2017 11:41 pm

    No chance of that Lou … Idaho is worse (politically) than Utah (maybe? Egads!)

    That is the whole point of this exercise: To try and stop this problem before it happens as opposed trying to put the genie back into the bottle.

    Clearly there will be select deals and parcel land swaps. Not many auguring against that. You have to look at the privatizers endgame and not so secret wish: full privatization of western BLM and Forest Service lands at a minimum.

    No thanks. Hope you get some fresh snow over there. Have fun explaining Herr Trump to the Euros.

  25. biggb February 10th, 2017 11:48 pm

    Seattle and Portland come to mind.

    Large outdoor enthusiast populations: Check

    Outdoor retail companies: Check

    Airports / hotels / conference centers: Check

    Local, state, federal politicians that generally SUPPORT public federal lands, clean environment, and good government. CHECK.

  26. Snaffelhound February 11th, 2017 12:15 am

    Seems like this is something your quite fired up about Lou. Maybe you should refuse a future ski trip to Canada due to tar sands production. Really? If your that worried about a foreign owned company having an opinion about American policy you best boycott Canada and stick to Colorado. I can’t help but feel like your missing the mark on this one. My hat is off to activism from anybody who cares about the management of public lands(on either side of the border).
    Right or wrong go Patagonia and Arcteryx, this is not a time to be quiet and hope for the best?

  27. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 12:17 am

    The Euros I speak with seem to have a pretty good understanding of Trump, actually, and it’s not all negative. That’s as far as I’ll go with that. Back to the land issues and OR show, yeah, Seattle would be pretty cool… way better than Denver, which would be awful, though very easy for us due to the 4 hour drive and friends there. Lou

  28. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 1:37 am

    Snaffel, I’m not that fired up about it, just was interested in writing about it as it does directly affect my work and as you know I do cover environmental issues now and then. I’m now bummed to know Arcteryx will spend their saved money on enviro causes as my hope was they would spend it on 5-star accommodations for journalists at their press events. (If I’m ever even invited again, smile). Come to think of it, perhaps they’ll re-purpose their OR booth as a blogger shelter in Vancouver, thus saving big on hotel costs. Lou

  29. biggb February 11th, 2017 2:19 am

    Ahhhh … Locals with knowledge of Comrade Trump?

    I did not know you were skiing in the Caucasus Lou!

    ????????????! Y??!

  30. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 6:24 am

    That got a chuckle. Thanks, Lou

  31. Bruno Schull February 11th, 2017 6:41 am

    Hi. I apologize in advance for a purely political comment–then again, Trump was mentioned in the comments…. I live in Switzerland. I find that people here are extremely interested in and informed about American politics generally and Trump specifically. Of course, there are some Trump supporters, but the great majority seem extremely worried about the direction that the world might take under Trump’s direction, if you can call it that. Anyway, some of you might have heard about or watched “The Netherlands” video. It has gone viral, though perhaps not to the same extent in the USA as it has in Europe. Has that video, and the others like it, make it across the Atlantic? Brief history: a Dutch comedy show made a short video to “Introduce their small country to Trump in terms he would understand.” It was a terrific piece of political satire. Other countries added their own videos, and now they have a website, with videos added daily, from countries around the world. Some of the videos are better than others, but, taken together, I think they paint a devastating portrait of how the world views Trump. They also raise really interesting questions about the boundaries of comedy, political or otherwise, if any exist. Here is the link:
    http://www.everysecondcounts.eu/

  32. Bruno Schull February 11th, 2017 6:43 am

    I would add that, to get a sense of the videos, watch the Netherlands first (still the best?) and then, for example, watch Switzerland, of Morocco, for a taste of what followed.

  33. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 7:04 am

    Ok, lest this turns into a US presidential bashing thread, let me just add that our policy here is to treat the US President with respect. We did that with all past presidents and will do so going forward. As I always say, there are plenty of forums where you can get into it politically. I know it’s tempting here, as we’re civil and generally mellow, so jumping in with heavy negative stuff can be tempting since your’e not lost in hundreds of other comments, but please don’t go there. That doesn’t mean a bit of humor can’t sneak in, or intelligent comments that are critical of specific policy, but rather that we don’t want anything that can quickly devolve into hate — from any side of the issues.

    So please, make comments specific to the subjects in the blog posts, treat our leaders with respect, and so on. If you can’t do that, please go elsewhere.

    Thanks, Lou

  34. See February 11th, 2017 8:18 am

    The value of the trade show boycott is demonstrated by the fact that it has brought the issue of the Bears Ears monument to our attention, if it wasn’t already (thanks also to Wildsnow). And if P and A’t aren’t recycling their booths into low income housing… well, that is no more hypocritical than giving your lunch to some homeless guy but not inviting him home to sleep on your couch.

    Also, this issue isn’t just about protecting outdoor recreation, it’s also about protecting historical/cultural/natural/religious heritage.

  35. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 8:57 am

    Fair enough See. But for a boycott to be valid I don’t think they should be paying for booth warehousing, and they should of course be giving up their spot on the show floor.

    Adding fuel to the fire, Lisa dug up the OR attendance figures. 20,000 this year 2017, 22,000 last year 2016. That’s about 10% less this year!! That kind of shrinkage is major, and easily a reason why companies would be very comfortable pulling out of the show. For example, you could easily say a company gets 10% less value for their budget. That is huge.

    Meanwhile, as mentioned, ISPO clearly grew and all brands are there, no talk of (what I think are BS) boycotts.

    So?

    From Outdoor Retailer press release from 2017 and 2016:

    Salt Lake City, Utah — January 13, 2017 — Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, the premier trade event and community gathering spot for the outdoor industry, staged January 10 — 12, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah with 1,075 brands, including 163 new to Winter Market. Retailers and media from around the country braved treacherous weather throughout much of the U.S. and the total attendee count was approximately 20,000.

    Salt Lake City – January 10, 2016 – Outdoor Retailer, the premier outdoor product tradeshow, welcomed specialty retailers, brands and media for four days of order taking, media presentations, networking and industry celebrations. As market confidence builds, and the outdoor industry economy continues to strengthen, exhibiting brands previewed countless numbers of new products, leading the industry in innovation and fashion trends.

    New tools and resources designed to support the needs of specialty retailers helped them better navigate the show floor, identify new products and sharpen their skills. And while business was the focus, no one failed to mention that Winter Market is the perfect event to connect with colleagues, business associates and friends.

    The outdoor industry community made the annual pilgrimage to Salt Lake City, with an estimated 22,000 overall attendees, and more than 1,060 exhibiting brands. Attendance remained on par to Winter Market 2015 and the fact that 19% of exhibitors were new shows the strength and growth of the industry.

  36. MIke February 11th, 2017 9:01 am

    Wow Lou, try doing just a little bit of homework on this. You keep referring to Federal land deals, not state land or Utah state lands, with respect to your place and the backyard land baron. The 3.3 million acres they want to dispose of is Federal land spread across 11 western states. Get it, Federal land. The land that surrounds Wildsnow HQ.

    Also, please take the time to briefly enlighten us as to how you acquired that HQ land, was it a mining claim?

  37. Kevin Woolley February 11th, 2017 9:31 am

    Patagonia and Arcteryx are grandstanding to the majority of their customers (wealthy liberal coastal Sierra Club types whose fancy jackets will mostly protect from the chill fog of the Bay Area or the canyon winds of Manhattan). Chaffetz and Herbert are grandstanding to their conservative rural voters, and to the extraction industries who will pay for their campaigns. There is zero chance that the Fed will sell off all BLM or Forest Service lands even with a Republican majority in Congress and Trump in the Oval Office. And most of the conservative residents of the state of Utah recreate on public land, they have no desire to see it sold off, they just don’t like to see areas the size of Connecticut locked up from ORV use by a single individual in DC (Kaiparowits Plateau under Clinton and now Bear’s Ears under Obama). I say this having grown up in Utah and also having spent many days hiking in both of those now National Monument areas, and also as someone who is not an ORV enthusiast. True that large scale mining and energy extraction in those areas was blocked, but also true that for most recreational users, these areas are now essentially off limits for motorized recreation, which is the majority use for high desert land in the Colorado Plateau. And people can and do recreate in areas impacted by mining all over the west, including my now home state of Colorado, I regularly tour areas with logging roads and mine ruins, so this is really more about these companies showing their customers that they are politically OK buying their overpriced gear so they can look like a ski mountaineer on the way to work.

  38. Dave Johnson February 11th, 2017 9:31 am

    Lou, I’m of the mind that accusing someone of “playing the environmental card” is a bit of low-fruit picking. How to prove or disprove a person’s motive, eh? Al Gore traveled the world warning about global warming…and took heat for the pollution from his jet’s engines. I’m of the mind that his message outweighed the negative effects of his transportation mode. Will YC and others decision to bail on Utah change the state’s current environmental policy? Perhaps not. Or perhaps it will.

    On to more important matters…ski gear! Looking forward to your reports from Munich. Save travels.

  39. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 9:50 am

    Hi Dave, yeah, more reports from ISPO coming. It was an interesting show, didn’t seem like as much overtly new stuff for ski touring, but the vibe was good and most products were getting into very solid iterations. I think ISPO 2018 will be better. I’m suspecting we’ll see as few new airbag packs, and perhaps some boots that are more than just the same only different. As for my conjectures about this boycott stuff, I had a lot of trouble taking it at face value, that’s why I dashed off that quick screed. I’m glad it resulted in some discussion. Lou

  40. Kevin Woolley February 11th, 2017 9:56 am

    To additionally illustrate the hypocrisy of these companies, I add the following observation. They are OK with moving an outdoor show from a state that has almost no mining that impacts ski touring to a state where there are square miles of some of the best ski terrain in the US either locked up or completely destroyed in the high altitude New Jersey that is Fremont Pass here in Colorado.

  41. Anonymous February 11th, 2017 9:57 am

    Last that I knew, Patagonia’s CEO was regularly commuting via private jet Aspen/California. Definitely a bunch of fake green washed grandstanders with few actual employees and vast numbers of third world sweat shop labor.

  42. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 10:06 am

    Mike, I’m aware of what’s state and what’s federal, I’m probably just making some mistakes on the verbiage and I should look back through the comments and make some corrections if I confused you. As for our own land in the Colorado mountains, like huge amounts of other land in the U.S. west it was privatized around a hundred years ago from Federal land by being a mining claim. Is that supposed to be germane to this discussion, as if I’m suddenly for privatizing land because I own private land? I’m aware certain individuals seem to enjoy blaming themselves and others for things that happened before they were born, but I’m most certainly not of that ilk and don’t appreciate being pigeon holed that way. Sheesh, all I did here was question the boycotts, and suddenly I’m an advocate of selling off Federal (or more broadly, Public) land? I assure you, I am not. Perhaps I should have stated that more clearly so we could get past the accusations and keep discussing the issue, which is if the Arcteryx and Patagonia boycots are appropriate responses. If you’re looking for a land baron bogey man pushing to acquire chunks of Federal or state land at every turn, it’s not me.

  43. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 10:13 am

    Kevin, that’s the exact problem with this type of boycott. To be logical, they’d have to keep the boycott going unless we could change the OR show to the saintly prefecture of perfected green government, which is clearly not the U.S. or Canada, perhaps a Caribbean island? Yeah yeah, arguing about something and drawing ridiculous conclusions is a straw man, but I just can’t help but be uncomfortable with corporations who throw their weight around in attempts to influence government, whether it be lobbying, boycots, or whatever. I also get uncomfortable when we agree on something like that being ok when it suites our opinions, but wrong if it does not. It gets over into the area of mob rule. Lou

  44. Kevin S February 11th, 2017 10:16 am

    Great comments from all, thanks! Now please look at the labels on your Patagonia, Arcteryx, etc clothing and gear! Note the country (think about the labor abuses) where the products were manufactured, the oil infused plastic biproducts utilized in the material and now think hard about the hypocrisy we all engage in. Now before you type madly at me, look at the plastics (biproducts of oil) and mining elements utilized in the laptop or ipad you’re typing on and remember one simple fact. Unless you are completely off the grid, not using any energy related products you are supporting energy companies every day…let’s all pick our causes with a keen eye around the hypocrisy of our daily lives.

    Remember Utah is the home state of Polygamy Porter and that alone deserves our support!

  45. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 10:22 am

    Ok, Utah is el enviro- diablo, which state should host OR? I’m not joking, I’d like to know. Let’s get a list going so when the big move happens we’ve had our say. I do like the idea of Washington. Colorado seems less environmentally qualified, but perhaps I just know the state too well…

  46. kwoolley February 11th, 2017 10:30 am

    Washington would have to dynamite all the dams on the Columbia to receive serious consideration for enviroperfection …

  47. Kevin S February 11th, 2017 10:46 am

    Hawaii should be high on the list but DC wins for the least amount of Energy production…but DC produces other toxic waste that cannot be ignored. so Hawaii must be the winner!

  48. See February 11th, 2017 11:08 am

    Lou, it’s a bit rich to read that you “just can’t help but be uncomfortable with corporations who throw their weight around in attempts to influence government” when your positions on environmental issues consistently seem to align with the interests of the fossil fuel industry. Just sayin’…

    And I think the absence of the tribal perspective in this discussion is unfortunate. I’m not in a position to speak for anyone but my immigrant self, and I don’t know anything about the organization in this link, but it seems relevant: http://bearsearscoalition.org/

  49. biggb February 11th, 2017 11:46 am

    The argument that a location, company, or person be “perfect” or “saintly” … or that entity is otherwise hypocritical and has not standing to be politically active is unscrupulous. I for one am not elite and have never lived on a coast. A person seems to show their hind quarters when taking this stance … IMHO.

    Just as the idea that the federal government, if directed by enacted laws to the contrary, would never sell large swaths of federal land to private individuals, is naive.

    This article is very telling:

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/letters-from-the-west/article130291054.html

    Sure, Chaffetz was seemingly shutdown … this time. But read between the lines and see the groundwork that has been laid and that continues still. See the trend lines. See the planning that is going into this like a trap waiting for a future step. It’s not a one-off event. This is their ideology. We cannot put that genie back into a bottle. Those that want public lands to be private are smart enough to fight, and when rebuked turn away in order to fight another day. They’ll be back.

  50. biggb February 11th, 2017 11:52 am

    Great point SEE … Surely the big bad Outdoor Industry companies must play nice just like the Oil / Gas / Coal / extraction industry types have done all these years.

    Now THOSE guys are a model of playing nice and being reasonable. No hypocrites in that bunch. SAINTS to be sure. Whoops … darn it … now I’m being unscrupulous like some other commenters. I will hide my head in shame and go for a run.

  51. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 11:52 am

    Just because I have opinions that might align with some corporation, doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with them doing heavy influence. Huge issue, of course, one we’ll probably be working on for a hundred years. As for aligning with the fossil fuel industry, sure, most of us do it all the time, even while driving electric cars charged by electricity from power plants. I just happen to be a realist instead of living in a fantasy where I can somehow just by my attitude wave a magic wand and instantly convert the world to solar power.

    I think the tribal perspective has validity, but I’d like to be there with feet on the ground to really see what’s going on with that. Getting beyond our scope here for sure.

    Lou

  52. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 12:02 pm

    Nice one Kevin! Yeah…. for many many years…

    Hawaii? I think Yvon Chouinard would approve, would he not? His people could go surfing every day (smile).

    Yvon, what say you? Hawaii for the OR show?

    Lou

  53. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 12:08 pm

    Kevin, about Amax, thanks for bringing it up. I was amazed when I learned they had removed a whole mountain, a big one by all accounts. Was the sacrifice worth it for modern steel? I don’t know. I’d sure like to know if it could have been done a different way. But it’s pretty danged large environmental disaster zone that makes the Utah political rhetoric look a bit meager in comparison. And then we’ve got our frack nation over to the west. I agree that nobody is asked to be perfect, but I simply can not wonder how Patagonia can justify their boycott in Utah, and not continue it in Colorado if the OR show is moved there. Especially with the Dawsons living on formally Federal land!

  54. biggb February 11th, 2017 12:20 pm

    Lou: You keep leaving out the fact that the Utah politicians (most being Mormons) are particularly aggressive leaders in the Private Lands Ideology.

    Malheur anyone?

    By my reading, that is the difference you are asking for and missing.

  55. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 12:33 pm

    Thanks for bringing that up Biggb, I’ll try to do a better job of working that in. In the overall sense, however, that’s just another affront along with mining, logging, fracking or whatever. What’s interesting is at this point the “ideology” is mostly talk, while Amax and fracking exist. Like I alluded to above, yes, lots of people in the outdoor industry really don’t like the Utah political culture. In fact, they hate it and have told me so on numerous ocasions. I’m actually pretty surprised the OR show ever ended up there, and that Black Diamond did as well. It’s like, what were they thinking? Didn’t they know anything about the history of Utah?

    And again, I’m not any more into privatising public land than any of you guys are. The point here is to conjecture about what’s really going on with these boycotts, which as I said, sound like BS to me. And yeah, that’s just me (smile). Lou

  56. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 12:48 pm

    You guys be sure and take the last word here, I’m sure people rom both companies are reading the thread, though I doubt the Utah governor or his staff are doing so. I’lll switch over to finishing up my ISPO posts. Have been skiing here in Austria but not backcountry touring, tricky thin snow isn’t very attractive but we might try something tomorrow. Lou

  57. Anonymous February 11th, 2017 1:05 pm

    From a macro perspective:

    The wealthy globalists unexpectedly lost the US Federal elections to the wealthy nationalists.

    We’re seeing a lot of blow back from that now as the winners move on their agenda and the losers are protesting at pretty much anything to try and create outrage.

  58. MIke February 11th, 2017 2:57 pm

    Lou,

    Mining claims are not private land, never have been.

    Not trying to be a jerk here(sincerely interested), seeing as were now in the era of get yours while you can, how does one go about privatizing a mining claim?

    And regarding YC, that guy has walked the walk for what, 30 + years now? He puts his money where his mouth is (and as he has stated numerous times it usually ends up making him more money, could be a lesson in there for ya). So if he says he’s leaving OR because of the land use policy put forth from the gov/congressional delegation then that’s why patigucci is leaving. Why all the hate towards them for acting on their principals? Do they not advertise with you(got me one of them ad blockers)?

    By the way, does any of the revenue generated from my clicks go to helping ensure the future of the sport for my kids, like 1% for the planet as an example. Or does the money just go to helping privatize public mining claims?

  59. Kevin S February 11th, 2017 3:32 pm

    Lou the Amex mine is a disgusting example of how we’ve raped the land. The tailings pond along with the mountain side are a constant reminder of our need for expedited reclamation projects. BTW thanks all for the Big Ears info as my family will spend time there this Spring!

  60. Chris February 11th, 2017 5:48 pm

    I agree, if there is one positive thing about Utah, it’s the Polygamy Porter and the associated art work on the glasses and in the brewery at Park City. Anyone remember what happened with the billboard campaign right before the Olympics? That’s a story in itself.

    Though off thread, but to comment on Presidential respect…Respect is earned, not granted. Trump has not done one single thing to earn mine. Quite to the contrary, as he seem to go out of his way to insult everyone he can. I believe most US citizens feel this way-even many who voted for him.

    As many of you have mentioned, Utah is leading this charge and often stating “take it back” There is nothing to take back, these people need a history lesson on the Louisiana Purchase and who rightfully stole (paid almost nothing) this land from the Native Americans to begin with! We all know that select federal lands are traded and swapped all the time, and much of this makes perfect sense- land locked parcels, management efficiencey, etc. But, this in not what we’re talking about. This is large scale disposal of federal lands that is being proposed. Utah, though with no authority, has already passed laws to require massive transfer of federal lands.

    Even though I support their action, I’m not sure why Lou is so concerned with what these two companies have done? It’s their position and their money at risk. As many readers have mentioned, both have been at the cutting edge of corporate activism, and if it changes anything, more power to them. Let’s the chips fall.

  61. Jack February 11th, 2017 6:48 pm

    Sorry Lou, you’re way, way off base here.

  62. See February 11th, 2017 7:39 pm

    Yeah Lou, I drive a car, heat the house, etc., etc.. I do not live in a fantasy where I believe I can wave a magic wand and instantly convert the world to solar power. I’m a “realist” too. However your reality and mine seem a little different. Maybe Yvon Chouinard has brainwashed me with his enviro-propaganda, but you might want to look into how Exxon and others have been trying to manipulate our understanding of reality for decades.

  63. Lance February 12th, 2017 2:24 am

    I for one agree with Lou. There is more here than just a statement against those who oppose the unilateral National Monument declaration of a million acres of already public land. There seems to be some deep rooted motivation against the culture, ethics, philosophy and even religion of the majority of those in Utah. Not to mention a business case for not attending the OR show.

    Utah is a grand place for outdoor recreating. Many thousands of Utahns like myself play in and promote protection for public lands, but as Lou alluded to, not all protections are equal. Many activities that we all love to do require a type of protection that is more involved than just declaring a National Monument.

    There seems to be an assumption by many, that Utah as a state, exists solely for the recreation of those who live in other parts of the United States, places where there is not much non-developed land to be found. The ironic part is that those who have this view maybe don’t realize that the privatization of land is probably why they have the luxury of traveling to Utah to enjoy the incredible public lands that are already protected.

    Much of the political maneuvering regarding the actions of the Utah State government are out of concern for the resident constituents of these areas and their opportunities to enjoy a quality of life that will allow them the same luxury of recreating in the outdoors that you and I enjoy, not just working out in it.

    I also applaud Lou for supporting the Office of the President of the United States regardless of who currently sits in it.

    Finally; Let them boycott, it is always a two way street…

  64. Kristian February 12th, 2017 7:46 am

    Corporations are often ruthless money makers and cover their actions with public relations twaddle.

    The outdoor retail industry is composed largely of small mom and pop shops with very limited resources and cash flow. Think about how expensive it is for them to stock all of that gear that just sits there, wages, taxes, health care, utilities, commercial retail rent, etc. Plus airfare, hotel, and meals to attend ISPO.

    Even worse, these shops have to compete against you going online and finding the best internet deals and then dragging that internet bought gear to them for help with mounting, etc.

    And the very worst of all, Patagonia and Arc’teryx both sell online and open shops to compete directly against the loyal mom and pop shops that helped them to become established.

    It is small wonder that even the strongest and longest are now going out of business.

  65. Kristian February 12th, 2017 8:51 am

    More than likely, Patagonia and Arc’teryx are following The North Face strategy of having many high markup cheap polyester blend soft goods, direct selling to the public, and wanting to have only very large retailer partners like REI.

  66. See February 12th, 2017 11:56 am

    Personally, I appreciate hearing what people I don’t agree with have to say. It can be a lot more interesting than listening to someone whose opinions resemble my own, and sometimes I learn something important. So, while I don’t have a problem with the companies that chose not to attend the show taking a stand on a specific issue they feel strongly about, I hope it is not the case that they boycotted because Utah culture/ philosophy/ religion make them “uncomfortable.” Unless, of course, they were made to feel uncomfortable by a less than welcoming attitude on the part of their hosts.

  67. UpSki Kevin February 13th, 2017 9:58 am

    I think it’s sweet that these companies are bringing public attention to the fact that these Utah politicians are a bunch of greedy scumbags.

  68. powbanger February 13th, 2017 10:28 am

    I’m going to come at this from a different perspective, and I want to be sure you’all know this is speculation.
    Trade shows are very expensive to attend, and there are three major ones in the US. OR Winter, SIA, and OR Summer. Clothing companies like Patagonia and Arch will attend both OR shows and in the past the some would attend SIA show as well. That is very expensive to do. The political statements both those companies have made in in the wake of leaving the OR shows are real and valid and I will take those into consideration as I make purchases of outdoor clothing and equipment.
    They are not the only companies to pull out of OR, in fact there are a number which pulled out of the OR show with little to no publicity, due mainly to the real reason Pati and Arch are pulling out. It just doesn’t make sense for their business model anymore, business is business, this was not based on location or religion Lou. (speculation)
    The industry is changing quickly due to manufacturing restraints on companies which do not own their own factories or have reached production capacities at the facilities they do own. This pushes deadlines forward, many shops have orders due for next winter’s clothing before they even get this winter’s gear on the floor. Aggressive deadlines are needed to ensure production.
    To properly show some product lines to a shop it can take 3-6 hours, especially large clothing brands, which puts the OR shows into a marketing category and do to time restraints no a doing business category. Does Patagonia need to market their new stuff to some shops who have already seen it in regional showrooms? I don’t think so, media want shows to fill content, retail stores don’t really want their customers knowing what is coming next year when a large chuck of the selling season for this year’s gear still exists. OR summer moved their dates forward for next year to try and work with deadlines it remains to be seen how it works.
    There is also the darker side of shows which is oversea brands or actual factory people from overseas looming around taking photos, catalogs, anything which gives them opportunity to knock off styles for sale in counterfeit markets. Some of the booths are very strict about handing out catalogs or giving anyone outside of the booth clear lines of sight to products.

    So…show costs are up, driving companies to choose which shows or if shows are even important to attend. Maybe we’ll see more small press introductions as Marker did with the Kingpin, I’m sure we’ll see more regional shows which retailers alone are invited to. There are more and more blogs and internet magazines attending the outdoor demos, with limited gear companies will start choosing who gets to check out their stuff, shops (their customers) or a small blog (Wildsnow is not a small blog) in the corner of the internet who was able to sign up because some of these shows are “for profit” businesses.
    My .02, sorry for the length, again it’s my speculation from outside the door looking through the keyhole.

  69. Kristian February 13th, 2017 10:39 am

    I agree with Powbanger.

    I believe that the model is to show your complete brand line in private to very large buyers, get the very large buyer orders in advance, have the very large orders produced at inexpensive third world facilities, and finally ship full cargo containers from the third world facilities directly to the very large buyers.

  70. Powbanger February 14th, 2017 7:01 am

    Kristian – I don’t see where I talked about the size of the retailer in my post. I have a local shop which would fit inside the shoe dept at an REI spending 4hrs to go through the arcterex line at their rep’s local showroom as there is no way they could do a 4hr appointment at OR. Pulling out of OR has nothing to do with the the size of the shop they are doing business with, though it sounds like you are pretty sensitive to that. Do you need to see clothing lines at shows like OR or are you just upset at large retailers and their business practices?

  71. Wookie1974 February 14th, 2017 11:54 am

    Oh man.

    Patagucci and the Dead Bird are private entities and are thus entitled to behave as they see fit, as long as it doesn’t break the law or go against moral code. I think its safe to say that the show in Utah is not all that important, because they feel they can do without it. (if that was not the case, then I doubt they’d just close up shop and call it a day….)
    The OR is not just about Utah land policies – but it is ALSO about Utah land policies, and I guess that for some companies and for some people, the negatives outweigh the positives. Utah could make their show more attractive with a better public policy – or they could offer all attendees free ice cream….at the end of the day, all decisions are business decisions, (even moral ones.)
    The ISPO is no bed of roses when it comes to environmental impact and neither is Germany (my home) or Europe perfect when it comes to the environment – but at the end of the day, the show is a positive decsion for the companies attending.

    I say bravo to the people at the bird and patagonia for expressing their opinion and making their desires known. Not everyone is in a position to effect change, and few who are are willing to do it for all of us. Sure – they have lots of motives – but that doesnt mean that this one is invalid.

  72. Court Brock February 15th, 2017 1:59 am

    ” And come to think of it, is there any issue with one of these outfits being a Canadian company throwing their economic weight around in an attempt to manipulate our politics?”
    You have already mentioned how much trade shows cost these companies but you act like they shouldn’t try to find the best way to spend their money.
    1. As you mentioned they’ll get a marketing bump from it, because it’ certainly appears they’re doing the right thing
    2. IMO it actually IS doing the right thing. The vast majority of their customer base is in favor of the move so they are effectively using their wallet as an extension of our collective voice and that is very powerful.
    3. I really, really wish Canada had complete control of our politics

  73. Kristian February 16th, 2017 8:58 am

    Strange backstory to this. Looks like an interstate war with some deception:

    http://www.dailycamera.com/recreation/ci_30797676/man-planning-boycott-utah-protests-boulder-lied-about

  74. See February 16th, 2017 10:45 am

    Aside from some guy in Boulder tweeting under a “nom de guerre,” what is the interstate war backstory?

  75. Kristian February 16th, 2017 10:53 am

    Looks like Colorado is trying hard to get the show. Unrelated – I wish that the last President had been able to do some of the last minute actions earlier to have prevented this type of situation.

  76. Kristian February 17th, 2017 8:04 am
  77. Lou Dawson 2 February 17th, 2017 9:05 am

    Wow, that’s big news Kristian! I’m not sure what to think about this, in a practical sense. If the OR show leaves Utah and ends up in Denver, it’s a worse place to have it (in winter, anyay) and they will not have changed anything in Utah…and now they have fracking to protest… (and unlike Utah’s statist dreams, fracking is a real thing, happeing on the ground, right now). On the other hand, perhaps it’s not a done deal and they’re making a strategic move to call the Utah pol’s bluff. In any case, the incredible shrinking show may be a little too little too late anyway… I guess we’ll be seeing Pati and Arc again at the show? Too bad for those environmental organizations who had their eye on the Arcteryx donation windfall. Lou

  78. See February 17th, 2017 9:46 am

    Why not hold it in a different location every year? That would probably be a lot more interesting for the regular attendees, enable different regions to showcase what they have to offer, make it easier for people from different parts of the country to attend when the circus comes to their town, and the argument about what state is without sin could be avoided— anyone with a bone to pick with a particular state could boycott as they pleased.

  79. Lou Dawson 2 February 17th, 2017 10:08 am

    See, they usually warehouse many of the booths, which would otherwise have to be shipped around, very expensive and of course not environmentally correct. But your idea about allowing people the opportunity to boycott different states makes sense. The companies could take turns not attending. Lou

  80. See February 17th, 2017 10:24 am

    The products change year to year, so the actual content can’t be stored and reused over the long term. And isn’t the outdoor industry all about resourcefulness and traveling light?

  81. Kristian February 17th, 2017 10:43 am

    Lou makes many excellent points including pointing out the complexities of the industry.

    Much of the volume/weight of display booths is furnishings, fixtures, lighting, etc. Many of the smaller companies travel from great distances and need this stuff pre-staged.

    Most major cities like Denver have only 2 at most venues large enough to stage this type of event and they are typically booked years in advance. Also factor in arm wrestling over the very astronomical costs to rent. It’s a multi million dollar event for a multi billion dollar industry.

  82. Lou 2 February 17th, 2017 11:08 am

    See, they do reuse their booths, then rebuild redesign periodically. I’m told medium sized companies spend around $500,000 to exhibit at show, including everything from employee wages to installation labor. Larger companies can spend much more, easily. Lou

  83. See February 17th, 2017 11:23 am

    It’s been a long time since I attended a trade show, I admit. But as Lou points out, the traditional show model may be less viable and harder to justify from a business stand point these days. Perhaps it’s time to revise the model.

  84. Powbanger February 17th, 2017 12:44 pm

    See – what do you think Patagonia and Arcterex are doing? They are changing the business model…
    As I mentioned above there are a number of companies which are choosing OR or SIA and not attending both. There are also a few companies which get suites at hotels within 5-10min of walking from the show locations and host appointments away from the show.
    The model is changing….

  85. See February 17th, 2017 1:52 pm

    Sorry, PB, I should have said “as Lou and others have pointed out.” The point I was trying to make is that maybe it doesn’t make sense for companies to invest in lots of expensive furniture that has to be warehoused most of the year and ties them to a single venue. The product and the people are what matter.

  86. Powbanger February 17th, 2017 2:17 pm

    It’s all good See, I’m not worried about the “others” part. The SIA show just signed on in Denver until 2030, so it’s ok to be tied to a single venue in that case. Pure speculation, but OR’s contracts were up next year, so they were looking for change or a cheaper price for the space either way they look at it.
    Using the show to gain public land support is really legit too.

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  Your Comments

  • Jim Milstein: Lou, I was referring to the threaded thingies glued into the skis into whic...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Jim, I just count the boot inserts as part of the boot weight, since most b...
  • Jim Milstein: My black Vipecs (from last year) weigh about 500g each, brakeless, screwles...
  • See: Aside from being an ounce lighter per binding(?), being easier to click int...
  • See: Tecton claimed weight is 550g per pair, no brakes? I’m guessing that’s supp...
  • Tom Gos: So, I purchased the new Mirage walk mode kit to replace the older style one...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Thanks Jim, yeah, I noticed on the Vipec we've got here that you can "cheat...
  • Jim Milstein: Actually, you can adjust further if you don't mind going past the "stop" ma...
  • Jim Milstein: My Black Vipecs have 25mm adjustment for bsl....
  • Lou Dawson 2: I'm working hard on the FAQs, but yeah, some of this info is hard to find. ...
  • Jeff: I am sure I am missing it somewhere do to poor search skills....does anyone...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Shannon, thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed Aaron's post. There ar...
  • Atfred: Was in the valley Blanche two days ago, skied up to point heilbrunner, then...
  • Shane: I just read that this was previously covered . Thanks...
  • Katie: It was epic, I was there. Craving more.......
  • Julia Dubinina: Hey Kyle, Just found your comment - it is April, so not sure if you hav...
  • Jim: thanks, subscribed...
  • Eli: Just a last width point, I find the "98mm" of the Atomic Backland to be ple...
  • Trevor: Hey Lou, how would you compare the Helio 95 to the Blizzard Zero G 95? I h...
  • Allan: Lou, Do you have a full spread sheet/ chart you could link to us via googl...
  • Julian: It looks like you have the Onyx and the Ion crampons using the same base pl...
  • Miro: It's never happend to me unless -as Tom wrote- the red lifter wasnt stuck b...
  • Tom: ^^^Only a couple times on the non-magnetic side if I forget to "squish" the...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Working on adding more data to reviews today. Just got the ATKs back from a...
  • Shane: I have used this ski for 2 seasons (average about 10 days resort and 20 day...
  • John Baldwin: Louie, have you got a rough idea how many liters of water you could melt wi...
  • Al: Some of the more sober realists in climate scientists think we may be at or...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Old news. And...?...
  • Al: Closer to home, some estimates are that glacier park won't have any by as e...
  • Bob Berwyn: And it's not just the glaciers. Lou, I know you travel to the Alps frequent...

  Recent Posts


Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

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