Garmont Relocates to PNW

Post by blogger | July 27, 2011      

Shop for Garmont ski boots here.

For daily blogs, we tend to stay away from ski business minutia that’s of more interest as “B to B” than to most WildSnow readers. But when company such as Garmont pulls up stakes from the (or perhaps what used to be) capitol of ski business location (Vermont) and moves to Oregon, that is news we all might find interesting. We’ve used Garmont boots for years and we’re big fans of the company. They are also a supporter. Pacific Northwest continues to be quite the hotbed of North American mountain sports, including ski mountaineering. We’re glad to see Garmont locating there and wish them the best. Press release follows, edited to remove fluff.

WILLISTON, VERMONT (July 27, 2011) – Garmont North America today announced the relocation of its North American headquarters to the outdoor and footwear capitol of Portland, Oregon. [WildSnow removed fluff here.]

The goal of the relocation is to elevate the brand’s profile in the North American outdoor market, and to tap into the strategic benefits of proximity to other brands and retailers in the region. [WildSnow removed fluff here.]

The move will begin immediately and will be completed prior to the end of 2011. All Garmont N.A. operations will be relocated, including their distributed brands of Bridgedale socks and Life-­-Link backcountry equipment.

Garmont is also announcing the promotion of Joshua Gibbs to Vice President of Sales and Patrick O’Neil to Chief Operating Officer. Both Gibbs and O’Neil will relocate with Garmont to Portland, Oregon.

Garmont will also retain its sales rep force, as it has one of the most experienced and effective sales teams in the outdoor industry.

“This is an exciting new chapter for the Garmont brand, as the move will bring Garmont in closer contact with the outdoor market in ways that can best satisfy North American needs,” said Achille Morlin, Owner and President of Garmont SRL.

Based in northern Italy, in the picturesque foothills of Volpago del Montello, Garmont’s roots date back to 1867. For five generations, the Morlin family has designed and built technical boots inspired by the rocky terrain of the Dolomites.

The historic Garmont brand was relaunched in 1991 by Calzaturificio Morlin as a four-­- season technical footwear and ski boot brand. Garmont North America was founded in 1996.

Garmont’s decision to relocate was an extensive, deliberate process, and included evaluation of several possible regions with similar character to the brand’s northern Italian base.

Portland’s progressive business climate, proximity to footwear industry giants and innovators, and year-­-round access to world-­-class hiking, climbing and skiing destinations made it an ideal match.

Garmont is working with the Portland Development Commission to identify and implement the resources required for a successful transition.

In skiing, Garmont’s recent accomplishments include the introduction of the PowerFrame Freeride AT collection for fall 2011 -­–­- an unparalleled package of fit, features, and touring function. The collection established an entirely new class of boots, blending superior alpine performance with full uphill capability, and reinforcing Garmont’s leadership position in the rapidly growing world of alpine touring [WildSnow: and backcountry skiing] – the fastest growing category of boots in the alpine ski world.

Shop for Garmont ski boots here.


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13 Responses to “Garmont Relocates to PNW”

  1. Frank K July 27th, 2011 9:02 am

    Is Vermont really the capital anymore? Because it seems like most companies have already relocated to the Front Range, the Wasatch Front, or the PNW.

  2. Lou July 27th, 2011 9:11 am

    Frank, it still has that reputation to some degree, but yeah, it’s getting more and more scattered. The big change to me was when major ski publications started coming from the west, Powder first of course, and Skiing relocated at some point back there in the past… Couloir magazine came from CA, but of course was bought by Backcountry (Height of Land Publications) which is still located in Vermont.

  3. Tom Gos July 27th, 2011 9:11 am

    Agreed, the days of the east coast being the center of the ski gear biz are behind us.

  4. Lou July 27th, 2011 9:17 am

    Perhaps I should add a qualifier to the word “capitol” or should I use “capital?”

  5. Greg Louie July 27th, 2011 11:45 am

    “closer contact with the outdoor market?” – It was probably the food trucks that clinched it!

  6. Mark W July 27th, 2011 11:58 am

    Capitol is typically a physical center-of-government building.

  7. Mark W July 27th, 2011 11:58 am

    Glad to hear Garmont is heading to Portland. Great city, great location.

  8. Jonathan Shefftz July 27th, 2011 4:15 pm

    New England has lost many ski-related distributors and even some manufacturers over the last decade or so.

  9. Joe July 27th, 2011 4:45 pm

    Wishing the best for the guys from 802, those staying and those moving westward. Leaving one great scene to another, there is something to be said about that and their future goals as an innovative company. Looking forward to what the future holds for Garmont in the PNW.

  10. roger July 27th, 2011 9:00 pm

    the more off the radar that the EC is as far as skiing goes, the better

    some of us like it that way and wish more folks and companies woud move west. go, go, go, go 🙂


  11. Cascade Alpinist July 27th, 2011 10:53 pm

    Phew, glad they didn’t move to Seattle, our backcountry is crowded enough without adding those guys too, especially after all the great trip reports Louie and you are publishing about the Cascades. Can’t hardly get to the trailhead. 😉

  12. Frank K July 28th, 2011 8:42 am

    Lou: “The big change to me was when major ski publications started coming from the west, Powder first of course,…”

    I’d offer a different answer. 20 years ago racing was still king at the top of the sport, and the best racers were usually from the EC or going to boarding school there. Then came the Salomon 1080, the X-games, fat skis and a revival in bc skiing thanks to the fat skis. It makes sense to hq in the west given some of the other facets of skiing that are popular today. Just my opinion…

  13. Lou July 28th, 2011 9:46 am

    Frank, that is a super good point and now that you mention I think it’s true. Had not thought of it. If I ever get around to re-editioning the Wild Snow history book, some research and writing on ski publishing might be a good thing, as the publishing does track the trends in many ways.

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