Outdoor Insight

May 2019

Issue link: https://viewer.e-digitaledition.com/i/1118716

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20 19 uct demos, games and giveaways going on from vendor partners such as The North Face, MSR, Sea to Summit, ENO and Grand Trunk Hammocks, Hults Bruk Axes, Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen, Big Agnes and others. It also includes, beer, barbeque and live music. The store has a dedicated staffer to handle events — Libby Young, the community events coordinator. Pack Rat also hosts a Rugrat Adventure Day for kids, as well as the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and a rock climbing event, Climber's Rendezvous, that includes clin- ics, demos, presentations, raffles and more. Of the events, Sims says, "We create rela- tionships, that's the best part. Relationships and word of mouth — those are the best ways to build your business authentically. You can not put a dollar amount on it." As far as the merch mix in the store, back- packing and hiking products top the list, and paddlesports and climbing are also key categories. "The natural resources here are amazing," says Sims, admitting half-jokingly that sometimes she wouldn't mind keeping it a secret so it doesn't get too popular. "A lot of people do not realize the quality of rock we have here. It's mostly single pitch, but we have a lot of bouldering. And it is beautiful, the settings are amazing." Sustainability is taken seriously at the store, thanks in part to the dedication of Faebyan Whittle, a staffer who was originally hired as a sales associate, but whose passion for eco- consciousness has helped the store evolve its sustainability efforts and seen her grow into a role leading the store's sustainability initiatives. The store realized it could do a better job with waste reduction and recycling and now upwards of 85 percent of its waste is diverted from going to a landfill. The efforts have led to other businesses in the area following Pack Rat's lead and have helped create new relationships with surrounding businesses, says Sims. l May 2019 • Outdoor Insight • 33 outdoorinsightmag.com

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