Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 44

Feature .02
due to its heavy dependence upon tourism.
Because many of the nearby major resorts remained closed months after the storm, recovery
in the region has been tough.
"One of the biggest things for us has been
the lack of lodging options," Walsh says.
"Kiteboarding is just kind of our niche and we
have such a great spot. We were able to get back
into that pretty easily because our boats survived and obviously the water was still there.
But people were calling me and they said, 'we
want to come down and book a week and help
out the economy but there's nowhere to stay.'"

BEYOND CONTROL
STORM SURGE
Hurricane Irma ripped
through Otherside
Boardsports' cable
park on Islamorada in
September, 2017.

WEATHERING THE RECOVERY

When Hurricane Irma crashed into the
Florida Keys in September 2017, Otherside
Boardsports on Islamorada was right in the
middle of it. "We were pretty much ground zero.
The eye of the storm passed 30 miles south of
our store," says owner Shana Walsh. "Our island location had some minor damage. But we
had about four inches of water inside the store."
Rainfall from the storm penetrated a leaky roof
causing a flood of fresh water inside the building. Fortunately, Walsh said she was spared the
fate of her neighbors who experienced a rush
of tidal surge with brackish saltwater, seaweed,
and dead fish. But with recreational facilities in
her operation that include a network of docks,
boat ramps, and water-ski jumps, the damage
to her business was extensive.
"It felt like an entire marina had washed up
onto our property between the wood boards

44 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ Summer 2018

"You want to make sure that you're keeping
THE BUSINESS RUNNING AND DOING YOUR PART TO CONTRIBUTE

to all these people who need help."

and the pilings and, yes, boats!" Walsh says."
We had random boats that had cut through the
woods and finally laid to rest on our property."
The Debris that littered the ground only added
to the time and expense of cleanup when the
storm finally subsided on September 13, 2017.
Forced to evacuate to the safety of Alabama,
Walsh and her husband Mike immediately began making plans for their recovery.
"As it was hitting, we spent pretty much the
whole night creating T-shirts as a fundraiser,
knowing that we were going to be in a bad situation," Walsh says. "We donated 100 percent of
sales to charity and people who needed it. But
it helped us out, too. When we advertised these
T-shirts, customers who have been through
from all over the country bought them but
they'd also buy something else."
Despite their best efforts, though, Otherside
Boardsports took a big hit financially. Business
is down by 27 to 30 percent since the storm.
Once they cleared the debris away, the Walshes
and their employees finally got back to work at
the kiteboarding concession and retail store.
But it's estimated that Islamorada was the most
economically impacted area in the Florida Keys

devastation, their resilience is perhaps due
to a great sense of community spirit. Several
shops reported that they received charitable donations of cash or product from their
vendors across the country. At the very least,
companies offered retailers extended dating
on outstanding invoices or canceled pending
orders. The shops themselves continue their
best efforts as good citizens of the communities in which they are located, but the recovery
efforts only add to the burdens of a very complex business environment.
"In the Great Flood of 2016, it actually rained
for about 48 hours straight and dropped about
30 inches of rain and flooded 100 to 140,000
homes in the Baton Rouge area. Lafayette was
also impacted by that flood. The Vermilion
River crested its banks and flooded a good portion of the city over there as well," says Michael
Mathews, owner of The Backpacker, a specialty outdoor retail business with two locations in
Louisiana. "The immediate reaction was we
just had two priorities and that was to help employees that were affected by the flood and to
stay open for business."
Mathews says that the flood impacted his em-

Courtesy Shana Walsh / Otherside Boardsports

Sportago connected directly with the fire victims and provided them with care packages of
clothing and sundry items to help them get by.
"Every day we were getting phone calls and
emails and living through these people's tragedies," Patrick says. "We spent hours and hours
and hours answering every single email individually. And then hours putting the packages
together and then following through on them
and taking care of the people who were coming
through the door who needed things."

Not unlike the disaster itself, there are numerous factors beyond a retailer's control. There's
only so much community engagement and a
tenaciously positive attitude can do to mitigate
the aftermath of a major weather event. The
impacts of natural disasters typically last much
longer than the events themselves. Though outdoor retailers are by no means immune to the



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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