Despite slipping retail sales in snow-sports products
     nationwide last year, "it was snowboarding that heated up
     sales, while ski sales ... chilled," according to Penny
     Parker of the DENVER POST.  Gart Sports CEO Doug Morton:
     "Snowboarding is where the business is going."  Morton said
     the fact that "alpine ski heavy-hitters" such as Rossignol,
     Salomon and K2 have "leaped into snowboard manufacturing is
     a clear signal of a market shift."  Snowboards and snowboard
     accessories accounted for 60% of all downhill equipment
     sales at Gart Sports last year, and snowboards were 40% of
     all hard goods sold chainwide.  According to the Skiing
     Industry Association retail audit from August through
     December '97, total snow sport product sales dropped 4.7% --
      to $1.28B from $1.34B compared to the same period in '96
     (Penny Parker, DENVER POST, 3/5).
          CONSOLIDATE, MAN: SPORTSTYLE's Beth Howard examines
     consolidation within the snowboard industry.  Arbor
     Snowboards President Bob Carlson said that the 350 companies
     that were manufacturing snowboard products have been reduced
     to 100, and "in two years, there will be no more than 40
     viable companies producing snowboarding goods."  Carlson:
     "The industry grew so fast and manufacturers expected
     continued growth.  Even though the industry is still growing
     about [25%] a year, there are more manufacturers than the
     market can handle" (SPORTSTYLE, 3/98 issue).

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