Are you “cringing” at the prospect of your town getting business and jobs? Perhaps so if you’re on a trust fund or live in your Subaru (or both). Otherwise it can be a good thing in the correct dosage (not Aspen). Ogden, Utah is going there. Nearby backcountry and resort terrain provides excellent snow riding, but it’s been one of those secret less crowded secret places like the ones Outside Magazine loves to trumpet. Now the town is doing a big push for economic growth. They’re trying to lure more ski industry businesses to locate there, and the resort is getting major improvements. According to an article in Freeskier (we used to have a link, but it broke) the “hardcore locals” can only cringe. Please define “hardcore local.” Does this involve ramen noodles, or trying to support a family (or both)?
And what is it about the skiing press covering internal industry news with such zeal? Two recent examples. (defunct link removed 2015) First Tracks tells us in breathless detail that “The largest ski and snowboard media group ever brought to New Zealand from the U.S. arrived in Queenstown [New Zealand} today and is expected to generate millions of dollars (NZ) worth of overseas exposure for the country’s ski resorts.” The piece goes on to list the journalists who got picked for the junket, including writers from Powder, Aspen Times and Backcountry.
And along those lines (yawner inside news), numerous publications are reporting the amazing occurrence of BCA picking up North American distribution of Rottefella telemark gear (mostly their bindings). Dear blog readers, do you really care who imports and distributes the gear you buy? If so, it’s interesting that randonnee oriented BCA is entering the telemark fray. Not only does that speak to the popularity of telemark skiing. More, Rottefella owns the majority share of Naxo, so going with the Naxo distributor was somewhat of a nobrainer when Rottefella needed to consolidate a difficult distribution system that involved multiple players.
My crystal ball: the Naxo ski touring binding made its debut a few years ago with problematic durability issues (since corrected). Perhaps BCA’s experience with binding breakage will come in handy with telemark bindings? Let consumer testing commence.
But wait, breakage has already begun. Insiders are reporting unfortunate events at Rottefella due to the stress of developing and releasing their complex NTN binding system and changing their distribution system. With respect to privacy I won’t go any farther than that — and we send our sympathies to any parties involved. Business can be hard and I respect the effort and skill that’s required of any such endeavor. More, as an outdoorsman I appreciate all the sweat toil and stress that’s no doubt gone into many of the fine products we use nearly every day, including Rottefella. Come to think of it, my first x-c bindings were Rottefellas way back in ancient times!
Outdoor recreation is huge. An article in the Colorado Springs Business Journal covers how playing outside has grown to amazing proportions. The article says “it’s growing every year and we’re not talking about just camping and backpacking. Skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding, four-wheeling, it’s all growing… a $730 billion industry, the third largest in the country?
As always, most of the growth in outdoor activities uses land that is not legal wilderness. Let’s keep that in mind when we say we want more legal Wilderness for outdoor recreation “growth.”
Non-wilderness backcountry. That’s where we build our huts and yurts! Look for Couloir Magazine’s Destination Guide in a few days. I just spoke with publisher Craig Dostie, he said the Guide covers more than 259 backcountry accommodations (huts, yurts, lodges) that cater to backcountry skiers and snowboarders. “We were stunned at the amount of this stuff,” says Dostie, “and had to start covering some of these things as systems (rather than individual structures) when we found out there were more than 150 huts and yurts in Montana alone!” As an adventure vacation planner this should be a valuable resource.