Outdoor gear supplier Adventure Outfitters, a mainstay in the Valley for over 30 years and a regular recipient of the Advocate’s Best Of Award, is going out of business. One of the few independent outdoor retailers remaining in the Valley, owner Michael Zabre closed the Adventure Outfitters in Brattleboro a couple of years ago. According to a news release, Zabre is closing his Hadley store “as a result of the tough economy and two warm winters in a row.”
The kind of economic challenge Zabre has faced isn’t reflected in recent reports from the national outdoor recreation market. According to a report presented to the Western Governors’ Alliance last summer, Americans collectively spent $645 billion on outdoor recreation in 2011 alone. That’s more than we spent on cars, pharmaceuticals or energy for our homes, reports Outside Online. The report was presented to the Alliance by Sally Jewell, the CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc., who is also President Obama’s nominee to replace Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior, the cabinet position charged with balancing the recreational and energy needs of the country. Earlier, Jewell held executive posts at Washington Mutual and Exxon/Mobil.
(Originally appeared in The Valley Advocate.)