Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns will be the keynote speaker at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Marketplace industry breakfast, when he provides a sneak peak at his newest film, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. The documentary will air on PBS in September 2009.

Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature’s most spectacular locales – from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, Florida’s Everglades to Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic – The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a six-part, 12-hour documentary series by Ken Burns on the history of America’s national parks. This is a story of people: people from every conceivable background – rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs – who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved and in doing so, reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.

The documentary will be a national television event with a major PBS advertising and public awareness campaign launching in January designed to engage Americans across the nation in learning about this precious resource. At a time of economic uncertainty, the outdoors and our parks present an opportunity for our industry to remind our customers the outdoors helps improve mental and physical health and is a great means for escape in troubling times.

“This documentary is a timely and welcome opportunity for our industry,” remarked Frank Hugelmeyer, president of OIA. “This spring, Americans will be seeking low cost ways to spend time with their friends and families. Outdoor activities such as camping and hiking will have special appeal and we as an industry can tap into the resources of PBS and the film promotion to reinvigorate consumers about the outdoors.”

Outdoor Industry Association, in conjunction with PBS, has developed a free toolkit for retailer of simple suggestion of how to tap into the national promotion and reach out to their communities, engage their customers in the outdoors and get them excited to head out to the parks and reconnect with nature. Toolkits will be available at the industry breakfast, or for download at

Presented by SmartWool and co-sponsored by W. L. Gore and Outdoor Retailer, the OIA Industry breakfast will be held on Thursday, January 22 at 7 a.m. at the downtown Marriott in conjunction with the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event is free but space is limited and online registration is required. Please visit to RSVP.