The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market returns to Salt Lake City next Wednesday, Jan. 22, with opportunities for winter sports enthuisiasts to preview new gear and show off backcountry skills. The tradeshow features the full gamut of snow-sports gear and apparel.

Before the exhibit floor opens, Outdoor Retailer gives industry professionals and consumers hands-on time with new equipment. The day-long All Mountain Demo on Jan 21. at Solitude Mountain Resort will emphasize backcountry safety. More than 40 vendors will set up in the heart of the resort to feature alpine touring, snowshoeing and telemark, winter camping and survival gear and avalanche safety equipment.

Organizers will mark out a snowshoe obstacle course and demonstrate the latest snowshoe technology. Experts will lead tours of the Wasatch backcountry and teach avalanche rescue techniques. SkiMo, a new competition, open to people of any experience level over the age of 18 will invite participants to climb up the course and ski down, combining skiing with mountaineering skills.

Outdoor Retailer moved to Salt Lake City in 1996. This year's event showcases 145 new vendors, and a total of 1,024 retailers. The event will cover 410,981 square feet of the Salt Palace Convention Center. Outdoor Retailer projects over 22,000 attendees including retailers who come to take down ideas for new product lineups, magazine writers intending to profile new gear and consumers who want to scope out which items to buy as soon as they debut.


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Some unique special events have been added to enhance the show's entertainment value. The Around the World Runway show will display clothing, footwear, and accessory lines that appear at the market. The Outdoor Inspiration Awards presentation will honor professionals "whose efforts excite and motivate others to make the great outdoors a part of their lives." In "Live from OR," the market's version of a "Tonight Show," Tim O'Neill will host athletes and retailers. During the Backcountry Business Forum business leaders can discuss market trends, safety and backcountry accessibility.

Project OR aims to bring young talent into the industry. In the annual design competition, student designers get 48 hours to move their idea from concept to prototype. Participants last year were tasked with creating "a female backcountry ski jacket that is both functional and fashionable."

The Masters' competition at the Winter Market will bring together 10 winners of past competitions. Eight now design for major brands. Designers will present to a panel of judges, including Mila Hermanovski, from Project Runway's seventh season. After offering pointers and critiques, the judges will announce a concept winner. All garments will go on display and on Jan. 24, attendees will select a People's Choice winner.

After renewing its contract with Salt Lake City, Outdoor Retailer has said it will keep the summer and winter markets there at least through 2016.

"The industry has a collective affection for this town," Kenji Haroutunian, Nielsen Expo Outdoor Group vice president and OR show director said in a press release. "The shared outdoor passions, cost efficiency of doing business, and the partnership of regional and state officials have all directly contributed to the current vibrancy and success of the show."

New products to look for

  • Powermonkey Extreme solar charger—compact, durable, charges most iPhones and smartphones

  • sCharger 5 portable solar charger

  • Alpaca style jackets

  • Elements cream—protects exposed skin from windburn, chapping and frostbite. Works in hot or cold weather. Blends oils and botanicals, including Durvillea Antarctica, a seaweed species that makes a protein which prevents ice from freezing down to -40F.

  • DeLorme inReach SE—sends text messages and interactive SOS signals. Waterproof, dustproof and impact resistant. Can share track points or other trip details on the web and social media.

    Schedule of main events:

  • All Mountain Expo: Jan. 21 Solitude Mountain Resort, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Shows Hours: Jan. 22 - 25 - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Jan. 25 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Salt Palace Convention Center

  • Runway Show: Jan. 22, 6 p.m.

  • Industry Party: Jan. 22, 8 p.m. midnight

  • Outdoor Inspiration Awards: Jan. 23, 6 p.m. 8 p.m.

  • Live from OR: 4:30 p.m. 6 p.m. on Jan. 22-24.

  • Backcountry Business Forum: Jan. 24, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

  • Announcement of Project OR winner: Jan. 24, 3 p.m. 4 p.m.

    For more information: http://www.outdoorretailer.com/