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Rock/Creek Nominated for 2011 Retailer of the Year by SNEWS & Horny Toad

From SNEWS- The Most Trusted Industry News Source Since 1984
This is Rock/Creek’s second time being on the nomination list. We were honored with the Online Retailer of the Year in 2009. [See that story Here]

On Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, during an awards celebration at the Red Door in Salt Lake City, Utah, SNEWS®, Backpacker and program sponsor Horny Toad will honor six outdoor retailers as recipients of the 2011 Retailer of the Year Award, a recognition given annually to outdoor retailers who embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and who serve as visionaries for the outdoor market and leaders of the communities they serve.

The finalists for the 2011 Retailer of the Year Award as decided by a panel of judges are:

-Appalachian Outdoors — winner of the Growth of Outdoor Sports category in 2010.
-Backcountry.com – winner of the Best Online category in 2010.
-BSA – first-time finalist
-Half-Moon Outfitters — winner of the best Sustainable Business award in 2009.
-Midwest Mountaineering – winner of the overall ROTY award in 2010, and winner of the best in Community award in 2010 and best in Growth of Outdoor Sports in 2009.
-Moosejaw – first-time finalist
-Mountain Crossings – first-time finalist
-Outdoor Source – first-time finalist
-REI – two-time finalist
-Rock Creek – winner of the best Online Business award in 2009.
-Santa Barbara Outfitters – first-time finalist
-Summit Hut Outdoors – three-time finalist.
-Tooth of Time Traders – first-time finalist

SNEWS President Michael Hodgson and Backpacker Editor in Chief Jonathan Dorn will formally award one of the finalists with the title of “Retailer of the Year” and six other retailers will be honored as best-in-class in the following categories: Online Retailer, Community, Conservation, Growth of Outdoor Sports, Sustainable Business and Youth Involvement.

“There is no question that specialty outdoor retailers continue to play a very significant and influential role in the growth and development of our outdoor community,” said Hodgson. “This award honors exemplary retailers and sets a bar for all other retailers to achieve, with the ultimate goal of establishing a standard for specialty retail excellence nationwide.”

“Specialty retailers are the gatekeepers to our industry and enable consumers to sort through the myriad of product choices available today,” added Dorn. “Because store owners and their retail sales employees have become extraordinarily educated about the products and technologies on the market and are highly skilled in being able to impart that knowledge in a meaningful and engaging way, we’re thrilled to celebrate and recognize their efforts by hosting this awards program.”

All Outdoor Retailer Winter Market attendees are invited to celebrate excellence in retail along with SNEWS, Backpacker and Horny Toad, as well as a litany of industry leaders on Jan. 20 at the Red Door, 57 West 200 South, between 6-8 p.m. We expect to announce the winners beginning at 6:45 p.m.

With six set categories and one overall winner, the third annual Retailer of the Year Awards are carefully selected through a rigorous judging process following a call for nominations seeking the best outdoor retailers in the United States. After reviewing all nominations, the finalists — determined by a first round of voting by SNEWS and Backpacker editors — are presented to a panel of judges who evaluate each store based on personal and customer experience, reputation in the outdoor community and overall store reputation.

“The Retailer of the Year awards provide a great opportunity to publicly thank our specialty partners,” said Gordon Seabury, CEO of Horny Toad, the lead sponsor of the ROTY awards. “The program recognizes leaders in the industry — those innovators who are evolving our industry’s retail sophistication, value sustainable business practices and give back to their communities. It feels great to reward those who make this such a special industry and blaze new trails.”
–SNEWS Editors