So, I attended the first Mountain Hardwear Trends Retreat in Boulder along with some editors from Backpacker, Climbing, Gear Trends and a ton of freelance writers. I have to say - it was an excellent event.
Whenever a writer hears "retreat sponsored by XYZ company" it usually means an endless parade of new products with "this amazing new zipper" or "this amazing new coating" or even "this really cool draw string."
This was not the case last week.
Mike Wallenfels sat down with all of the editors and basically let us know the challenges, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses of the outdoor industry.
Michelle Barnes with OIA sat down with us and did the same.
It's very refreshing to see some honesty and not just some more marketing hype and spin. On top of that the discussion that came out of the realties facing the industry was very productive. Nearly every journalist was involved, asking questions, making points, arguing pros and cons. The presentations usually evolved into open ended debates that kept everyone thinking and responding.
So, to Paige, Mike, Chris, and Val - Congrats! It was a great event.