KETCHUM, IDAHO — It was almost 35 years ago when Smith Sport Optics existed only in the head of dentist and ski enthusiast, Bob Smith.

Today the company is proud to announce the moving of its corporate headquarters to a brand new building, having outgrown its 13,500 square foot headquarters in Ketchum, Idaho.

As a leading eyewear manufacturer, Smith is excited about this announcement, having recently completed a much larger facility to accommodate an increase in sales and employees, as well as the addition of the Carrera and Action Optics brands. The new 18,770 square foot building, built by Safilo Realty Corporation, is located at 280 Northwood Way, only a quarter mile from the former leased facility. The official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new building is Thursday, November 2.

In attendance will be several heads from Smith’s parent company Safilo SPA. Included will be Lorenzon Giannino, CFO of Safilo SPA, Claudio Gattardi, COO of Safilo USA and John Judge, CFO of Safilo USA. The increase in square footage is a modest reflection of Smith and Carrera’s growth in sales, which has increased from $18.2 million in 1994 to almost $50 million by the end of 2000. Over 80 percent of the recent Smith growth came from the diversification into the sunglass business.

“If we could have continued in our current building, we would have. However, we will need 4,000 to 5,000 square feet to accommodate growth over the next three to five years and the current facility cannot be enlarged,” commented Smith President, Ned Post, on the new facility. “The finished structure will house both the Smith and Action Optics Marketing and Sales management teams, as well as Administration, R & D, and Design. In addition, it will provide the base for Carrera Sport for North America,” Post added.

The planned growth for the company will come primarily in Customer Service, Marketing, and Sales with additional space provided for the newly created in-house Design Department. The new facility also has a 6,315 square foot basement that will be used to accommodate storage and record retention currently housed off site.

In addition, Smith will continue to use the current 100,000 square feet of operations facilities in Salt Lake City, Utah. The new building was designed by the renowned western architect, Riscitto, Latham, Blanton Architectura P.A., and construction directed by Intermountain Construction, Inc. The building design fits with the alpine architecture of Idaho with emphasis on open space, high wood beamed ceilings and stone highlights.

n preparation for the real millenium, Smithsport.com has launched a new interactive website showcasing their product, athletes and promotions with cutting edge graphics and design.

The redesign was created by Summit Projects of Hood River, Oregon, and features quick navigation for simple, easy access to all features of the website. Consumers can enter online every month for the latest and greatest product giveaways, as well as concert tickets for special highlighted bands in the Lounge Section of the site.

You can also enter to receive a monthly newsletter and listen to highlighted bands while browsing the site. Since Smith sponsors athletes in a variety of sports including MX, snowboard, skateboard, ski, wakeboard, bmx and mountain bike, interesting facts and tidbits are included in the various sections and updated frequently.

Check out the latest highlights of Smith surfers in Hawaii or Carey Harts latest and greatest feats or simply look for event schedules for your favorite sport. Product info is updated constantly and detailed technical information is included so that you can learn the best ways to protect your eyes. There is also a section called “answers to all your frequently asked questions” which is a quick and easy informational tool.

The sites official launch was October 15, so check it out at www.smithsport.com and give us your feedback. All e-mails are rapidly answerred by the pros in the appropriate departments and are funneled through the rapidly growing internet department.