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 McLEAN, Va., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Visualize 23 football fields in one place. Put a roof on top and fill with all the ski products you can imagine. What you'll have is an inkling of the size and scope of the Ski Industries America 1993 Ski and Outdoor Sports Show, March 1-5, in Las Vegas.
 SIA '93 is the world's largest collection of ski equipment and clothing, filling the one-million square foot Las Vegas Convention Center and covering 23 acres of show space. Serving as the year's principal buying event for North American ski retailers, SIA 93 affords ski industry manufacturers and distributors the opportunity to unveil the coming season's models and fashions.
 "This is the ski industry's premier event," says SIA Trade Show Director Bill Travis. "If you're involved in skiing in any capacity, you should be in Las Vegas. Each year we do something different, something new. But this year, we're pulling out all the stops. We've redesigned the floor plan, added exciting events, and created special attractions."
 The show's importance to the ski industry can't be understated:
 -- The show sets the industry tone for the upcoming season. Upbeat, enthusiastic retailers and exhibitors mean 1993-94 will be another good year in the ski industry.
 -- All 1993-94 ski equipment, clothing and accessories will be displayed. The ski press is able to research products, identify trends and prepare stories before the merchandise hits the stores.
 -- Close to 600 exhibitors will be in attendance, representing nearly every company and brand name involved in ski products.
 -- More than 2,500 retail ski shops, roughly 80 percent of the U.S. total, are registered, presenting a once-a-year opportunity to assess trends, explore consumer reactions and delve into issues which concern shop owners.
 -- Of the shops attending, 55 percent have annual sales over $500,000 and 30 percent have sales exceeding $1 million.
 -- Retailers at the show have the capacity to buy over $1 billion in merchandise and represent retail sales of nearly $2 billion.
 Innovation and change will be the hallmarks of SIA '93, meaning there's more to see and more to report this year than in previous shows. Some SIA '93 highlights:
 -- Monday night, March 1, SIA will host the Operation Ski Lift For Sarajevo Dinner, in cooperation with HOPE! (Humanitarian Olympians for Peace). The black-tie dinner will raise funds to aid Sarajevo, host city for the 1984 Winter Olympics. Olympic athletes and ski celebrities will attend. Since last October, SIA member companies have donated more than 10 tons of clothing, worth an estimated $1.2 million, to the Sarajevo relief effort.
 -- The Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee and the Norwegian Trade Council will make first announcements of their plans for the 1994 Games.
 -- A special Olympic Village will be constructed at the show's entrance. The village will house the Olympic representatives and various, information desks.
 -- Barbara Alley will host revamped SIA fashion shows and Snow Country magazine's fashion design awards show -- both previews of next season's hot items. The fashion shows have been moved to the center of the trade show hall and will be a focal point of the week's activities.
 -- The show's snowboard section has doubled in size over last year, creating the world's largest collection of snowboard equipment and accessories.
 -- The In-Line Skate Expo, with 15,000 square feet of space, an inside rink, product demonstrations and certification courses, will headline the Outdoor Sports Show.
 -- Skis and boots will be concentrated in a specific section of the hall -- "Hardgoods Row" -- to enhance traffic flow and increase display efficiency.
 -- Special press seminars on boot, ski and clothing construction and design will be offered during the week.
 Throughout the show, attending media will have ample opportunities to speak with top-level personnel from the major ski equipment and clothing companies. "The show gives the press a chance to see the new products and talk to the main people at the companies," says Travis. "No where else can writers, broadcasters and photographers see and learn so much about the ski industry."
 The spirit of SIA '93 is in keeping with the general economic upswing of the ski industry over the past year. Skier visits at America's ski resorts rose 8.8 percent to 50.8 million; ski area revenues increased 10.2 percent; and wholesale orders for this season jumped 15.2 percent. "While other segments of the travel industry are still mired in rough economic situations, the ski industry is pulling itself toward profitability," says SIA president David Ingemic.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Jo Tarallo, 703-556-8020, or 410-296-0357, or Bill Clapper, 703-442-5040, both for SIA/

CO: Ski Industries America ST: Virginia, Nevada IN: LEI SU:

TM-LD -- NY001B -- 4656 02/09/93 12:10 EST
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Date:Feb 9, 1993

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