SIA.06 Wraps-Up; Attendance on-par with Last Year

Exhibitors displaying new product lines at SIA.06 for the 2006-07 season represented over 95% of the market share for the ski and snowboard sectors and 80% of the Nordic, telemark, and snowshoe market. The show boasted 350,715 net square feet and 900 brands exhibiting in 3500 booths. The buying power index, measured by an independent outside firm, for this year’s show indicated a 1.3% increase with 90.2% of the U.S. retail buying power represented at SIA.06. There were strong gains in retailer attendance from New England, Pacific, Mountain, Mid-Atlantic and East North Central regions. SIA reported that buyer attendance was on par with last year recording 4,725 buyers from 1,571 shops and 16,810 storefronts worldwide.

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Teresa Hartford

Teresa Hartford Editorial & Creative Director | SGB Media teresa@sgbonline.com | 704.651.5741

SIA.06 Wraps-Up; Attendance on-par with Last Year

As the SIA.06 SnowSports Show culminated on Thursday, January 26th, marking the conclusion of yet another successful year for attendees at the SIA SnowSports Trade Show. Exhibitors displaying new product lines for the 2006-07 season represented over 95% of the market share for the ski and snowboard sectors and 80% of the Nordic, telemark and snowshoe market.

The doors officially opened the 35th Annual SIA SnowSports Trade Show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Monday, January 23rd. Returning to Mandalay Bay for the fourth year, the SIA SnowSports Trade Show is the premier event in the snow sports industry. Over the four days (Jan 23-26), SIA.06 hosted manufacturers, retailers, reps, resorts, industry associates and alumni, elite athletes, media personalities and more. With 350,715 net square feet and 900 brands exhibiting in 3500 booths – SIA.06 was THE show for the snow sports industry.

The buying power index, measured by an independent outside firm – Leisure Trends Group, for this year’s show indicated a 1.3% increase with 90.2% of the U.S. retail buying power represented at SIA.06. According to Jim Spring, president of Leisure Trends Group, there were strong gains in retailer attendance from New England, Pacific, Mountain, Mid-Atlantic and East North Central regions. Accordingly, SIA reported that buyer attendance was on par with last year recording 4,725 buyers from 1,571 shops and representing 16,810 storefronts worldwide.

According to the most recent SIA Retail Audit released late last month, overall sales for the entire winter sport market, including specialty and chain stores, were up 13% in dollars to $1.5 billion for the August to December period of 2005, compared to $1.3 billion reported last year.

Unit sales were up 14% overall. The industry continues to see growth in the following categories: integrated ski systems (matched skis and bindings in one) — up 30%, snowboard equipment – up 14% and winter apparel – up 15% from last year. “Color is IN and they are exciting – patterns, prints and more,” exclaimed Linda Klein of Willi’s in Pittsburgh, PA. “All the great new technology in clothing – breathable, waterproof has now moved into being comfortable and with great designs.”

SIA.06 played host to nearly 80 new exhibitors with products ranging from accessories, apparel, base layers, storage systems or the latest new snow sports gadgets. Josh Walker, marketing manager for Bern Unlimited stated, “We had an amazing show and the response to our helmets was extremely positive. The Show provided the ideal scenario for networking, building relationships and doing business.”

“We will be back next year with a bigger booth,” he added. A new product directory, highlighting several new products at this year’s Show, is also available on the SIA association website, thesnowtrade.org, in the Media Info tab located under Marketplace | Trade Show -SIA.06 SnowSports Trade Show.

The SIA.06 Snow Fashion Show, presented by Volvo, kicked off this year’s festivities on Sunday night with over 50 brands showcasing the latest in winter fashion outerwear for the 2006-07 season. Taking place at Fashion Show Las Vegas, over 1300 attendees were entertained by the spinning music prowess of DJ phenom Miguel Migs and Salted Music while previewing the latest in winter fashion. Live concerts with headliner Social Distortion; athlete appearance and autograph sessions; CNBC going live on Day 3 of SIA; breakfast and lunch education seminars on marketing, the state of the industry and diversity; product giveaways, cocktail parties, alumni breakfast, awards presentations, live announcements and the Burton Rail Jam were just footnotes in the long list of events that capped off the four day Show.

Further positioning the SIA Show as the must attend event for the winter sports industry, several major announcements were made. SIA, in cooperation with the SnowPress Show Daily, named eight retail shops from seven different regions – Retailers of the Year. Winners included:


New England – Bill Langlands of Darkside in Killington, VT 

Mid-Atlantic – Ray Fallon of Ski Barn in Paramus, NJ
 
South East – Grant & Nancy Essex of Rocky Mountain Sports in Atlanta, GA

Mountain Region – Gary & Jana Cole of Cole Sports in Park City, UT

Pacific Region – Mary Weneta of Bobo Mogul Mouse in Reno, NV

North Central (tied) – Bart & Terri Pierce of Pierce Skate & Ski in Bloomington, MN

North Central (tied) – Bob & Nancy Olson of Viking Ski Shop in Mt. Prospect, IL

South Central – Ryan Meyer of St. Bernard Sports in Dallas, TX

Donna Carpenter of Burton was named the recipient of the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) 2006 Pioneering Woman Award on Day 3. While later that evening, live from the SIA Show Floor, the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s (USSA) own Tom Kelly and CEO Bill Marolt announced the members of the 2006 Olympic Alpine team headed to Torino. Local Las Vegas NBC affiliate was on hand to capture the news. Preceding the announcement, the USSA and SIA recognized the Team’s entire supplier pool with the Doc DesRoches Award. The Doc DesRoches Award is presented annually to an SIA member and U.S. Ski Team or U.S. Snowboarding official supplier for its support and integration of team and athletes into its marketing campaigns.

Over 75 sponsors, partners and supporters played an integral role in enhancing the attendees experience at SIA.06. Six showcase exhibits aligned the convention center lobby featuring special product preview for rental, telemark/backcountry, Nordic, kid’s, uniform and back shop product categories. Top Secrets | Bottom Secrets Tuning and Boot Fitting clinics were added to the slate of activities offering back shop retailers an opportunity to learn and hone up on their tuning and boot fitting skills. Also new, SIA provided FREE wireless Internet connection throughout the entire convention hall, a feat never provided by any other group hosting a show at Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

With the prediction of six more weeks of winter weather by Punxsutawney Phil coupled with the excitement of great new products on the horizon, the winter sports industry is plenty stoked about the immediate and long-term future.

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