It’s SIA Snow Show week! And as the snowsports industry gets ready to hit the show floor in Denver, we’re taking a look at the top news, trends and events not to miss at the show.

First Off, How Are Snowsports Sales Looking? The 2015/16 snowsports season for retailers and resorts will likely go down as a tale of two halves of the country, with the West Coast and Rockies receiving healthy snow amounts, but the East Coast and Mid Atlantic struggling until this past week’s monster storm “Jonas”.

SSI Data*, powered by SportsOneSource, shows that Holiday 2015 (November 1-January  2) snowsport hardgoods sales fell 6.7 percent in units and 6 percent in dollars across all outdoor, sporting goods and Internet channels. Within specialty, the decline was a little more muted with a drop of 2.2 percent in units and 5.3 percent in dollars. Despite the good season out West, population centers out East continue driving the business.

Category-wise, AT (Alpine Touring) is still the snowsports hardgoods leader in growth – up 16.5 percent in dollar sales during Holiday 2015 versus a 13.7 percent decline in alpine skis – while snowboard sales fell 6.9 percent.

Looking ahead, last week’s big storm out East should help sales, but there may be a delay as residents dig out.

New Dates For SIA – Perhaps the hottest topic at the show will be conversation around the event’s future dates, which are moving up by nearly two months.  In effect, that’ll mean two shows for calendar-year 2017. The January 2017 Snow Show and On-Snow Demo timing will remain consistent, spanning January 25-31. The new scheduling will set in with the December 5-7 Snow Show dates in 2017.

New Leadership At SIA – New dates come as new leadership enters SIA. After 34 years at the helm, SIA President David Ingemie will hand the reins to Nick Sargent, a former Burton exec. Don’t miss the official turnover, to be celebrated on Saturday, January 30, from 5-6 p.m. at the main entrance of the show floor.

Not To Miss – About 18,000 snowsports retailers, reps, media, and manufacturers, including 1,000 brands and 530 total exhibitors and a mix of athletes and industry professionals, will be in attendance at the show this week, according to SIA officials. That’s more than enough people to have a great party in Denver, but also plenty of opportunity to tap their knowledge about industry trends. Events, clinics, and seminars are aplenty at the show and here are a few highlights not to miss:

All Events At The Colorado Convention Center Ballroom Unless Otherwise Noted:

    • Wednesday, January 27 – 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
      Keynote Speaker Bryan Johnston, VP of international marketing for GoPro, will talk on how short-form content and the democratization of video production has created a grassroots explosion in the promotion of the winter sports industry. Additionally, Chris Davenport will join Johnston on stage to lead a Q&A.
    • Thursday, January 28 – 7:30 a.m. 
      U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is scheduled to speak on how climate change effects the industry. This includes a complimentary breakfast and the show’s official opening ceremonies.
    • Friday, January 29 – 7:30 a.m.
      At the Protect Our Winters Breakfast (Burritos and Bloodies, oh my) get an update on the nonprofit’s success this year with the Clean Power Plan and COP21 Climate Conference in Paris.
    • Friday, January 29 – 6:00 p.m.
      Find out who the SIA SnowSports Retailer of the Year winners are, excelling in fostering relationships, moving product, setting their brand apart from the competition and pushing forward the passion and growth of snowsports.
    • Saturday, January 30 – 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. 
      The Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition will spotlight leading women in the industry at its Keynote & Leadership Awards Ceremony, including SIA’s Research Director Kelly Davis and Kerry O’Flaherty, founder and owner of KerryO Sales. SmartWool President Mark Satkiewicz will give the keynote address.

And Finally…How Deep Is That Colorado Powder? It’s been a good snow year for Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. A couple inches of new snow is expected to fall early this week as attendees arrive. The mid-week will bring dry, warm and sunny weather, followed by a chance for more snow in time for the On Snow Demo at Copper Mountain Resort, February 1-2.

*SSI Data, powered by SportsOneSource,  is the industry’s only weekly Point-of-Sale (POS) trend-reporting platform for the active lifestyle market. Let us recommend the most efficient connection type based on your POS system. Call for more information 303.997.7302.

Photo courtesy SIA Show 2016