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Across the outdoor recreation industry, says Gellert, 80 percent of equipment and apparel purchases are influenced by women, whether they are shopping for themselves or for loved ones—or simply weighing in on a purchase made by someone else.
That purchasing power is buying women a stronger voice in the industry and greater representation on store shelves. St. George-based Bicycles Unlimited, for example, recently expanded its women’s apparel department, with store owner Mark McLaughlin noting that “more and more women” are becoming interested in biking and they need “clothing that is comfortable, flexible and safe for bikers in Southern Utah.”
Resorts, too, are finding ways to reach out to women. Brighton Ski Resort opened a new women-only terrain park in December. The resort also holds all-mountain/freestyle snowboard workshops just for women, providing coaching and exclusive product demos.
And that’s exactly the kind of outreach that companies need to invest in, says Duffy. “They need to do a lot more female-only events. It gets the girls out there in an environment that is not intimidating.”
Want to join the ranks of women who are embracing their inner athlete? Duffy suggests organizing your own “girls-only” day to make the venture less intimidating. “Do sports instead of the spa,” she says.