McLEAN, VA (October 10, 2001) — Preliminary sales figures released today by the SIA Retail Audit indicate that sales of ski and snowboard equipment and apparel advanced 19.1% in dollars through October 5 despite the chaos created by the tragic events of September 11.

The results were taken from a cross section of 277 snow sport storefronts. Sales figures are recorded at point-of-sale and compared to sales in September of 2000 from the same stores.

Jim Spring, president of Leisure Trends Group, explains that the figures are from a subset of the more than 900 stores that report to the company each month. “As we are able to post more stores to our database, we will have a better understanding of how consumers are reacting to the tragedy of September 11. The numbers can change, however the early signs are encouraging. The numbers will be updated as quickly as we can so they can better gauge the mood of Americans toward recreation and sport. It seems that the dislocation, sadness and stress created by the surprise attacks on New York City and the Pentagon have not put downward pressure on winter sports sales.”

“If Americans are buying winter clothing, skis and snowboards, they must be planning to use them in the upcoming months,” Spring said. “This is a good omen for ski areas and other winter tourism businesses. It may be a sign, as well, that Americans are looking to get outside and do things in the mountains as a way to get in touch with themselves.”

SIA is also currently participating in the LeisureTrak poll, which is interviewing Americans about their plans to travel, venues for recreation and whether they plan to ski and where. This information will be available in mid-October.