It might be easier to find untracked lines this weekend at Steamboat Ski Area. Not because of the recent storm blanketing Mount Werner, but because of the annual Snowsports Industries America Snow Show in Denver, held this year from Thursday through Sunday at the Colorado Convention Center.
A giant migration takes place every year from Ski Town USA to Denver, where the show lets retailers see what’s new for the upcoming season and gives manufacturers a chance to showcase their latest wares.
"It’s a super important tradeshow for us,” said local Christy Sports Manager Chuck O’Connell, whose Lakewood-based, 45-store retail chain regularly sends more than 25 people to Denver for the show. “We get to see new schemes and colors in apparel fashions, check out new accessories and rub our hands on new hard goods. It’s also important for our rental equipment buyers as well as marketing team, which can discuss co-op branding campaigns with our manufacturer partners.”
Heading there this week are buyers from such local ski and snowboard shops as Ski Haus, Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare, Christy Sports, One Stop Ski Shop, Powder Pursuits, Fleischer Sport and more. A few locally based exhibitors also willbe attending to showcase their new products, including SmartWool, Point6, Big Agnes, Honey Stinger and Chaos Hats, as well as reps and other industry personnel.
"The SIA Show, and other tradeshows, are where we make our stand,” said Smartwool Director of Communications Steve Metcalf. “They’re a place where we can truly be in charge of our identity and showcase our entire product spectrum to buyers from around world. SIA, specifically, allows us to speak directly to our 20-year roots as the category leader in snow sports performance socks and Merino base layers. It's also a true gathering of the tribe — people who have dedicated their lives to winter. And everyone will be asking about the snow in Steamboat."
“It’s a really important show for us,” added Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare owner Harry Martin, who this year sent four people to the show. “We use it to finish up ordering clothes and accessories and get a sneak peak at new hard goods coming out.”
Items catching his eye this year include a new addition to Fisher’s Vaccuum ski boot line, as well as Rossignol’s new all-mountain ski line that should be perfect for Steamboat.
In all, this year’s show will see nearly 20,000 attendees from 1,000 snow sports brands taking up 332,000 square feet of exhibit hall space at the Colorado Convention Center.
“It’s where the whole industry gathers together once a year,” said SIA President David Ingemie, who moved the show from Las Vegas to Denver four years ago. "Retailers and reps from Colorado ski towns are a very important part of the industry and the show is an important part of their business."
For locals, it’s all about bettering their businesses in Ski Town USA.
“It’s a chance for us to catch up with all the top brass in the ski industry,” said Chad Fleischer, owner of Fleischer Sport and Fleischer Ride. “It helps us find the new ‘it’ in the industry.”
Longtime local and 25-year ski industry veteran Marty Carrigan, owner of Steamboat’s Global Sales Guys sales, said it’s as vital to business as snowfall.
“It’s the only place we can meet all of our specialty retail partners and show them all the winter sport brand partners we represent,” he said. “It allows us to create a multi-brand presentation under one booth.”