14th Annual Winter Trails Set for January 2009

sialogo.jpgOFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – McLean, VA, May 6, 2008 – Organizers of the annual Winter Trails program have announced that January 10, 2009, is the date set for the 14th annual event nationwide. Winter Trails is an opportunity for those new to snow sports to try snowshoeing and cross country skiing free at participating locations.

Nearly 90 percent of Winter Trails participants, who responded to a survey conducted by SnowSports Industries America (SIA ) after the 2008 event, indicated that they would or might purchase product after attending a Winter Trails event. The survey indicated that for the majority of respondents Winter Trails was their first experience trying snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing. More than 60 percent of respondents tried snowshoeing again, after Winter Trails day, and about 20 percent said they tried cross country skiing again.

The survey further indicated that Winter Trails is capable of attracting baby boomers as well as a younger demographic.  Fifty-five per cent of those who responded to the survey were over 41 years old and 38 percent of the persons who accompanied them were over 38 years old.  About 40 percent of participants were under 26 years of age.

"Besides the collaborative nature of Winter Trails, the beauty part of this program is the fact that it works for host venues and product suppliers as a program that can bring new participants into snow sports and sell product," said Mary Jo Tarallo, director of Education for SIA. "This program has broad appeal for Nordic Centers, public lands and even alpine resorts who want to offer something else to guests aside from alpine skiing, snowboarding and even tubing."

Last year more than 80 venues hosted more than 11,000 children and adults at a Winter Trails event including locations at Nordic Centers and on U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Park Service land.

Presenters of Winter Trails include Alpina, Atlas Snow-Shoes, Atomic, Columbia, Exel, Fischer, Grabber, Kahtoola, Karhu, Mountain Safety Research (MSR), Nature Valley, PEPSICO, Redfeather, Rossignol, Salomon, Sorel, SWIX, Tubbs, Turtle Fur, Whitewoods, W.L. Gore and Associates, and Yukon Charlie's with media partners Cross Country Skier magazine, OnTheSnow.com, Snowshoemagazine.com, Trax and XCSkiresorts.com.

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is a not-for-profit trade association whereby competing on-snow product suppliers magnify their power, by working together, for the development of the on-snow sports industry.  For more information, check out www.snowsports.org. SnowSports Industries America, 8377-B Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3587. Phone: (703) 556-9020, Fax: (703) 821-8276, E-mail: siamail@snowsports.org