Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 43

In the fall of 2017

national news reports of the Tubbs Wildfire
in Sonoma County, California, defied belief.
Images on television and online revealed the
flaming and charred destruction of more
than 5,600 structures. Damage throughout
the Napa Valley rang up to an estimated $1.2
billion. Twenty-two people lost their lives.
This savage, raging fire cut a wide swath of
devastation that scorched wilderness areas
and residential communities alike with profound indifference. Those who witnessed it
were simply left in awe.
"It was definitely a firestorm. And what was
probably the craziest thing was the speed with
which it just took off overnight," says Christine
Patrick, owner of Sportago, an athletic clothing
store in St. Helena, California. "I mean it went, I
want to say, 20 miles in a matter of hours."
Named for its point of origin on Tubbs Lane
in the town of Calistoga, the Tubbs Wildfire
burned for more than three weeks from October
8 until October 31, when interagency crews finally contained it. "It started on a Sunday night
and it burned all the way to the next town, Santa
Rosa," says Patrick, whose store is just seven

GHOST TOWN
Smoke from the
Tubbs Fire surrounds
the Sportago store in
St. Helena, California.

COMMUNITY HUBS

As businesses that inspire an active lifestyle
through adventure, outdoor retailers are perhaps a little more resilient and able to endure
the ravages of natural disasters. With survival
gear as their stock in trade, owners and employees of these shops are not only themselves better able to withstand the loss of modern conveniences like electricity and running water, they
can also help their customers to make the most
of even the worst set of circumstances.
"As you can imagine, business in November

"Shopping was the last thing on people's minds.
EVERYTHING ELSE WAS CL OSED EXCEP T FOR US AND THE HARDWARE STORE

Courtesy Ahren Trumble / Sportago (top), Andrew Dickson / Napa Valley Paddle (bottom)

because we carry things that people needed."

miles away. "I think there were multiple fires
because there were these big storms. Power
lines were going down, and we were physically
surrounded by fire."
Fortunately the Sportago storefront and
adjoining buildings suffered no physical
damage. But the Tubbs Wildfire did blacken
36,807 acres of land known around the world
for its wine production. A popular tourist
destination, the Napa Valley and its many
businesses suffered deep economic losses
as the fire wreaked havoc on the local economy. Neighboring establishments shuttered
their doors in the wake of this disaster, but
Sportago, however, was one of a few shops in
St. Helena that remained open-and the store
was not alone in its insistence on being a vital
member of the community during crisis.

came to a screeching halt," says Chris Sears,
retailer relations manager for the Outdoor
Retailer Winter and Summer Markets. "But in
the outdoor space, and in a lot of these retail settings, there seems to be a beacon of hope."
In the wake of these horrific events, the true
cost of the damage is impossible to calculate.
You can't put a price on human life. And while
you can add up all the expenses of rebuilding
homes and storefronts or restoring municipal
infrastructure, there still remains the loss of
revenue during reconstruction. Yet time and
time again these outdoor retailers take everything nature throws at them only to stand ready
to fight another day.
In St. Helena, Patrick saw her shop transform
into something far more meaningful than a place
to buy things. "It was just important to be a place
for people to go. I mean everyone was walking
around shellshocked. During the weekend and
for almost two weeks after, everyone was wearing
face masks," she says. "Shopping was the last thing
on people's minds. Everything else was closed
except for us and the hardware store because we
carry things that people needed."
While recovering from the devastating fire,
St. Helena residents could count on Sportago
to provide a few basic necessities. As they sheltered in place, those who remained needed
items like camp stoves, fuel, lanterns, batteries,
and articles of clothing. Though it took several
days for power to come back on, Patrick and her
staff not only stayed open, but they also helped
to coordinate relief efforts in a style consistent
with the community spirit of outdoor specialty retailers nationwide. With contributions
donated by the apparel company Patagonia,

BURN ZONE
Little remains of Napa
Valley Paddle's
storage barn after it
stood in the path of
the 2017 Tubbs Fire.

Summer 2018 / OUTDOOR RETAILER 43



Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018

OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2018
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MERCHANDISING
MARKETING
BIG PICTURE
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
CHRISTIAN DE LA IGLESIA
SHIRA EPSTEIN
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
RESEARCH
SAWYER LAND + SEA
DISASTER STRIKES
BE THE BRAND
BREAD+BUTTER
PADDLING HARDGOODS
THE RENEWAL WORKSHOP
BROWN GIRLS CLIMB
COUNTER CULTURE
THE VIEW
HOW I GOT HERE
FROM THE ROAD
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2018
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - MERCHANDISING
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BIG PICTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 18
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 22
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CHRISTIAN DE LA IGLESIA
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - SHIRA EPSTEIN
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - RESEARCH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - SAWYER LAND + SEA
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 38
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - DISASTER STRIKES
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 43
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 44
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BE THE BRAND
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 48
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BREAD+BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - PADDLING HARDGOODS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE RENEWAL WORKSHOP
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BROWN GIRLS CLIMB
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - COUNTER CULTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - HOW I GOT HERE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 69
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover4
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