Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 62

From the Road: Partnerships

Experiential Sales
The symbiotic relationship between outdoor retailer Backcountry
Experience and adventure outfitter Kling Mountain Guides
puts more satisfied customers out in the wild. by Chez Chesak
THE OUTDOOR GEAR AND ADVENTURE TRAVEL
industries run parallel to each other, however their vectors rarely ever actually connect. Outdoor retailers sell the gear that
adventure travelers need for their trips, but
partnerships between retailers and tour
operators are surprisingly rare. One notable exception is the 10-year old partnership
between retailer Backcountry Experience
and outfitter Kling Mountain Guides
(KMG), both based in Durango, Colorado.
The synergy between the two goes well
beyond simple referrals: KMG is actually
located right in the store.
"It's a phenomenal partnership," says
Josh Kling, owner of KMG. "Our actual office space isn't that fancy or anything but
the symbiotic relationship that we've created is, I think, unparalleled in the industry."

62 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ Winter 2019

Working in the same space helps both operations sell more product. The guide service
recommends gear found in the shop to clients, while the shop becomes an inspirational
platform for consumers to book adventures
with the outfitter. That type of partnership
should be a no-brainer-to note, Neptune
Mountaineering has recently launched a
similar partnership with Colorado Mountain
School (see page 28)-but asking longtime
industry veterans and trade associations
about such partnerships usually results in
long silences. That's a missed opportunity.
Backcountry Experience leverages the
guides' expertise to provide educational
and aspirational classes. There are the
usual wilderness medical and avalanche
awareness clinics, but also presentations
about Aconcagua, Rainier, Kilimanjaro,

and other destinations. The shop provides
KMG clients gear to rent, saving the outfitter from having to retain their own rental
stock. For local trips, KMG clients meet
right at the store, allowing them the chance
to grab last-minute gear.
Ben Rockis, owner of Backcountry
Experience, has seen a direct impact on
sales. "We started selling more ice climbing
gear, so I asked Josh to do more ice climbing clinics. That led to more backpacking
and backcountry skiing clinics, which led to
more gear sales," he says. "It's even inspired
our head of marketing to create more adventure and experience-based scenarios for the
store, like clinics specifically for women."
Rockis recommends retailers consider
similar partnerships but notes that frank,
open communication is a major key to success. "You really have to be honest for the
relationship to work," he says. "We're so fortunate to work with someone who has the
right skills and business acumen, but who
isn't trying to take advantage of anything.
We're both totally open and honest with
each other."
Another key is making sure there is clear
delineation of their respective focus areas.
"Keep things separate and allow the two
businesses to do what they do best," adds
Rockis. "I mean, I'm a retailer. I sell gear
that people need in the backcountry, and
my specialty is service. Josh's business is
providing experiential education, and we
make sure not to cross over. When you keep
the two sides separate, the partnership can
work incredibly well." O.R.

Photo courtesy Kling Mountain Guides

THE GUIDE SERVICE
RECOMMENDS GEAR
FOUND IN THE SHOP TO
CLIENTS, WHILE THE
SHOP BECOMES AN
INSPIRATIONAL PLATFORM FOR CONSUMERS
TO BOOK ADVENTURES
WITH THE OUTFITTER.

OPEN HOUSE
At Durango's Backcountry
Experience, IFMGA guide
Tico Allulee presents on a
first ascent in the Himalaya
and how climbers can obtain
grants for big projects.



Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019

OUTDOOR RETAILER - WINTER 2019
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MERCHANDISING
MARKETING
BIG PICTURE
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
WHITNEY CONNELL
SHERYL DEBOARD
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
RESEARCH
NEPTUNE’S REVIVAL
MOVING THE NEEDLE
SKI TRADITIONS
BREAD+BUTTER
KNOW YOUR WINTER SPORTS
MADE IN AMERICA
WORK WEAR
COUNTER CULTURE
THE VIEW
HOW I GOT HERE
#REPLIFE
FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - WINTER 2019
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - MERCHANDISING
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - BIG PICTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 20
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - WHITNEY CONNELL
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - SHERYL DEBOARD
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - RESEARCH
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - NEPTUNE’S REVIVAL
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 30
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 32
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - MOVING THE NEEDLE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 36
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - SKI TRADITIONS
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - BREAD+BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - KNOW YOUR WINTER SPORTS
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - MADE IN AMERICA
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - WORK WEAR
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - COUNTER CULTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 54
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 56
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - HOW I GOT HERE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - Winter 2019 - Cover4
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