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Skiing: Backcountry gear sales double from last year

Snowsports retail sales on pace for new record

Good snow and a recovering economy are driving snowsports retail sales to new records this season.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with skier visits, the industry’s retail sector also appears to be making a nice recovery from the recession, with total sales in January exceeding $500 million for a new monthly record, according to a press release from Snowsports Industries America.

That followed sales of more than $1 billion in December for a season-to-date total of $2.6 billion, 16 percent more than last season. The West led the way, with sales were up 31 percent in equipment dollars sold, 17 percent in apparel and 19 percent in accessories sales.

One of the biggest growth sectors was in the realm of backcountry gear, and more specifically, alpine-touring set-ups, where sales for the year-to-date grew an astounding 102 percent from the previous season. Sales of crosscountry and telemark gear also climbed.

There was also less discounting this year, helping retailers boost revenue.  Alpine equipment sales are up 25 percent in dollars and 14 percent in units sold season-to-date. And the fat-ski boom continues, with sales of alpine boards with waists wider than 80 mm up a solid 50 percent. Continue reading

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