[caption id="attachment_505" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Summit of Ensign Peak "]
With a few hours to kill before my flight back to Madison from Salt Lake City I ran to the top of Ensign Peak. That is to say that I climbed to the summit as qu
ickly as I could. I did a fair amount of walking as I scrambled up the warm asphalt and dirt trails. I’m still nursing a bum hip that’s gone from dislocated to merely damn sore. I continue to heal. But there with a panoramic view of the city below I had an opportunity to reflect back on the week’s event and declare to myself that this was the best Outdoor Retailer Summer Market ever!
A bold statement to be sure, so I’ll qualify. Having attended OR every year since 1992 at this most recent summer market the excitement and enthusiasm for our business of outdoor recreation in my opinion has never been higher. Despite dire economic circumstances retailers and manufacturers set themselves to the task of productive commerce. They seemed to encourage one another to embrace the opportunities found in an active population eager to engage the natural world through sport and play.
“This was a great show,” said Ira Watchel owner of Champaign Surplus in Champaign, Illinois. “Most of the vendors we deal with seemed to put their egos aside this year and were serious about helping us to improve our business.”
And Brenda Mohr, a buyer at the Alpine Shop in St. Louis said she enjoyed the sense of community she felt this year.
“By the time we got here, most of our buy was already done,” Mohr said. “We’re here and we brought our new managers to experience more of what the outdoor industry has to offer. It’s not the products. It’s the people.”
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