Posted inNews, Outsider

When Smartwool left Steamboat Springs, workers who stayed behind got a “kick in the shorts to recalibrate”

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When Smartwool announced plans to leave its founding headquarters for Denver in 2018 it left a lot of people scratching their heads. Not from the company’s merino wool, but for the conundrum it created for its workers in this thriving but remote corner of Colorado.  Cue the Clash tune: “Should I Stay […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Economy, Housing, News, Outdoors

Big Agnes started by sketching plans on beer-stained napkins. 20 years later, the gear company is a local hero.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Bill Gamber, co-owner, co-founder and president of tent, sleeping bag—and now, pack—maker Big Agnes, stoops over and picks up an empty Diet Coke can from a willow bush next to the bike path, just a block away from the company’s new headquarters. It’s a small gesture, really, but one that’s symbolic of […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors, Outsider

A look at Steamboat Springs’ long list of outdoor businesses

A veritable Who’s Who of successful outdoor companies have set roots and prospered in Steamboat Springs. Leading the pack are such outdoor giants as merino apparel maker Smartwool, tent and sleeping bag manufacturer Big Agnes, energy food company Honey Stinger and Boa Technology, a ratcheting system that recently sold for $454 million.  Here’s a look […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider

“Outdoor Business Town USA”: Steamboat Springs has become a proving ground for outdoor innovation

With more than 90 and counting, Steamboat Springs is well known as a breeding ground for Olympians. But it’s also just as fertile an environment for outdoor businesses, nurturing them with all the right ingredients to succeed.   Forget its snappy “Ski Town USA” moniker. How about “Outdoor Business Town USA”? Somehow, a veritable Who’s Who […]

Posted inBusiness, Crime and Courts, News, Outdoors, Technology

Backcountry.com sues anyone who uses its namesake. Is it bullying or just business?

Backcountry.com a year ago filed for trademarks protecting the word “backcountry” for all sorts of outdoor gear as the online retailer launched its first-ever branded jackets, skis and apparel. Now the e-commerce behemoth is suing small business owners who have trademarked the word “backcountry.”  “My feeling is that nobody should have the right to the […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors, Outsider

Denver Merchandise Mart has become a hub for outdoor retailers — and could one day host trade shows

Todd Herrick sees opportunity in the chaos.  The entrepreneur is hoping the roiling state of outdoor industry trade shows — coupled with the industry’s dynamic buy-and-sell cycles based on shifting overseas production timelines — will elevate his frill-free Denver Merchandise Mart as a safe harbor for outdoor brands, reps, vendors and retailers. “Wheeling and dealing. […]

Posted inBusiness, Growth, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

As VF Corp. moves its HQ to downtown Denver, CEO vows to repay $27 million in tax incentives with donations

The 70,000-employee VF Corp. on Tuesday said it would take over a 10-story LoDo building to anchor its North Face, Smartwool, JanSport, Altra and Eagle Creek brands in Denver. The company, which last month revealed it was relocating from Greensboro, North Carolina, has inked a 12-year deal for the entire building at 1551 Wewatta St., […]