Tele skier and lightweight backpacker Ron Rod beat four other design students in the Project OR competition
. Ron designed and completed “The Rocker,” a woman's mid-layer jacket complete with a fully-integrated and working sound system, to win the 48-hour concept-to-prototype contest.
No, we’re not wrapping up our coverage of the new gear we saw at Outdoor Retailer. We’ve got lots more of that to come. So keep on visiting. However, now that we’re back home it seemed like time for a little wrap-up of the show itself.
Outdoor Retailer definitely felt quieter this year due to the economic downturn, about five percent down from last year’s Winter Market turnout according to OR. Many manufacturers and retail buyers scaled back their presence and travel budgets, and presumably many small and new companies opted not to make the trip at all.
However, there was still plenty of outdoor business happening with approximately 16,500 attendees checking out the 330,000 square feet of floor space.
To give you some perspective of the space we cover, I wore a pedometer from the hotel to the show and back each day. Here are the numbers, not counting walks to dinner:
Wednesday, Day 0: 4,570 steps, 1.73 miles (went to pick up media badge)
Thursday, Day 1: 12,732 steps, 4.83 miles
Friday, Day 2: 8,073 steps, 3.06 miles
Saturday, Day 3: 14,698 steps, 5.58 miles
Sunday, Day 4: 14,973 steps, 5.68 miles (not counting a 1 mile sprint, with bags and baby stroller, from Gate K9 in Terminal 3 to C7 in Terminal 1 in O’Hare... whew...)
Grand Total: 55,046 steps, 20.88 miles