MAINE OUTDOOR BRAND NEWS + EVENTS
A Month @ MOB: November Issue
1 Nov 2023
Welcome back to edition #4 of "A Month @ MOB!" We've rounded up the latest happenings in Maine's outdoor industry below: Trust for Public Land and Penobscot Nation announce a vision for a 30,000-acre land return project in the Katahdin Region of Maine and a $32M fundraising effort to make it happen. Penobscot Nation and the Trust for Public Land have embarked on a landmark project in Maine, returning 30,000 acres of land to the Penobscot Nation, marking the largest land return between a non-profit and a Tribal Nation, while also aiming to facilitate vital road access to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, prioritizing Indigenous self-determination, land stewardship, and the restoration of ancestral homelands. This collaborative effort, representing a profound step in acknowledging Indigenous sovereignty and land care, s...
A Month @ MOB: October Issue
12 Oct 2023
Welcome back to the third edition of "A Month @ MOB!" Here's a look at the latest news from Maine's outdoor industry: Portland Gear Hub launches "HERE TO STAY" campaign We're thrilled to celebrate the recent success of Portland Gear Hub at their Community Celebration. They're on a mission to secure their future as a community nonprofit outdoor gear and bike shop in Portland, and together with Ketcha Outdoors have already raised over 70% of the funds needed to purchase their building and lot. Help them reach their goal! Mainbiz 40 Under 40 honors MOB members Mainebiz is celebrating 40 leaders making their mark in Maine's business landscape, including MOB's own Jenny Kordick along with a few other MOB members, including MOB board member Sokunthy Yean (VP of operations, Sea Bags), Amber Boutiette & Patrick Breeding (founde...
A Month @ MOB: September Issue
13 Sep 2023
Map Adventures releases “DownEast Acadia: From Ellsworth to Jonesboro,” featuring maps of Ellsworth’s trails -> A collaboration between the city of Ellsworth, community partners, and Map Adventures has produced a new guide called "DownEast Acadia: From Ellsworth to Jonesboro," which features maps of Ellsworth's extensive trail system, with the aim of encouraging travelers to spend more time in the city known as "one of Maine's premier trail towns" and highlighting its outdoor recreation opportunities, recent grant awards, and partnerships with organizations like the Frenchman Bay Conservancy and Blue Hill Heritage Trust to expand and maintain its trail network. Grain Surfboards gears up for their 8th annual Surf Re-Evolution, Sept 15 & 16 -> Surf Re-Evolution is an annual event hosted by Grain Surfboards in York,...
10 Programs to Jumpstart Your Career in Maine’s Outdoor Industry
18 Aug 2023
If its abundance of wilderness, outdoor recreation opportunities, and ever-growing list of outdoor brands didn’t make it obvious, Maine has a thriving outdoor industry that lures in adventurers from around the world while contributing handsomely to the state’s economy. In fact, Maine’s outdoor recreation industry makes up a larger percentage of the state's economy than almost any other state, according to the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis from 2021(Read more about that here). Pulling in nearly $2.8 billion a year and generating thousands of career opportunities, this fast-growing sector has jobs, and lots of them. Given the industry’s rapid growth, there is a rising need for skilled workers and a fresh crop of talent to carry the outdoor industry forward and foster its development. Whether you are interested ...
A Month @ MOB: August Issue
3 Aug 2023
Introducing “A Month @ MOB”! A compilation of 10 exciting things happening in Maine’s outdoor industry each month. Read below to discover what unfolded during the past month: Allspeed announced as a 2023 MBDA Retailer Excellence Award Winner The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) has announced the 2023 winners of the Retailer Excellence Awards (REA). 82 retailers from across North America were awarded this recognition in levels of Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. These levels were based on application score and online presence, including website and social feeds. Allspeed Cyclery and Snow was awarded the gold tier excellence award! Saddleback Mountain opens lift service mountain biking The Saddleback Bike Park’s regular hours of operation are Thursday - Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m with the last chair load...
Legislative Landscape for Maine’s Outdoor Industry: A Recap of the 131st Legislature’s Most Impactful Bills
26 Jul 2023
While more than a thousand bills were introduced in the 131st session of Maine’s legislature, only a select few have passed both chambers and made it to the Governor’s desk. Legislative developments can and will impact the state’s outdoor industry – from PFAs regulations to e-bike incentives to paid family leave policies. Maine Outdoor Brands is committed to ensuring that our state is a thriving hub for outdoor enthusiasts and businesses alike, and will continue to follow and advocate for policies that support the health and sustainability of our $3 billion outdoor recreation economy. Below you will find a summary of the legislation passed in 2023 that impacts the outdoor industry, as well as a summary of bills that have been carried over for consideration when the legislature reconvenes in January. Passed Legislation: Bills Im...
Trails bond is an investment in Maine’s outdoor brand
11 Jul 2023
Maine trails are priceless, yet we take them for granted. They connect us with each other and the natural world. They provide us with memories, moments of awe and inspiration, and opportunities for recreation and reflection. Maine trails enhance our towns, increase property values, improve our health and quality of life, and they’re great for business. Trails help fuel Maine’s $3 billion outdoor recreation economy. Maine has thousands of miles of trails for hiking, running, snowmobiling, skiing, camping, paddling, hunting, biking and more. Maine businesses locate near trails, provide guided adventures on trails and create and sell gear to help us access and enjoy our trails. Maine Outdoor Brands is comprised of more than 180 businesses and organizations, nearly all of which are connected in some way to Maine’s trails.
Allspeed Wins Bike Dealer Retail Excellence Award
6 Jul 2023
The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) has announced the 2023 winners of the Retailer Excellence Awards (REA). 82 retailers from North America have been awarded this recognition in levels of Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. These levels were based on application score and online presence, including website and social feeds. In addition, the 2023 program featured an elevated award tier, the President’s Award, in which 5 retailers were awarded with this high level of distinction. Retailers that earn the distinction of Bicycle Retailer of Excellence, the most significant credential of its type for independent bicycle dealers, receive an official certificate, marketing signage for their shop, and digital marketing materials for their websites and social media. Retailers will be recognized for their retailer excellence in...
The 24 best backpacking food ideas for hiking and camping
5 Jul 2023
No matter if you’re trekking on a rugged backpacking trip or simply going on a hike for an afternoon, bringing high-quality (and tasty) food with you is a must for staying energized on the trail. Especially when it comes to backpacking, the food you bring can be a total game changer. Backpacking meals not only fill you up with protein and nutrients you need to sustain you on your adventure, but also don’t take up unnecessary weight in your pack along the way. With so many backpacking and dehydrated meals on the market, we know it can be hard to decide which ones will taste best, let alone give you all the energy you need. We ate more than 50 backpacking meals (so you don’t have to), considering the overall price point, weight, nutritional value and, of course, taste. Dehydrated meals that once tasted like cardboard have been kicked up...
Derelict Lobster Traps Feel the Squeeze of MITA
5 Jul 2023
You may remember hearing something about our “Flat Traps Fund” at some point last year. The idea was simple: generate funding to build a device that could be transported to sites on the Maine Island Trail to crush derelict lobster traps that washed ashore, making them easier to transport and dispose of. With a greater capacity to move these mangled pieces of fishing gear off the islands, MITA could be more efficient in our mission of keeping the Maine Island Trail healthy and clean. Of course, ideas are often the easiest part… There were quite a few engineering considerations to take into account. This device needed to exceptionally strong and robust (have you ever seen a lobster trap? They’re pretty serious pieces of equipment…) It had to be light, because if needed to be transportable on an 18′ aluminum work boat. It needed to be ...
Progress Over Perfection: Six Trends and Takeaways from AdventureELEVATE
5 Jul 2023
Over three days in May, the adventure travel community came together in Portland, Maine to explore the region, reconnect with each other, and exchange ideas. From the speakers and sessions to the overheard conversations, here are six key trends and takeaways from AdventureELEVATE 2023. Sustainability has moved from a trend to an undercurrent throughout adventure travel. While the term has no singular definition or universal standard, sustainability has moved from an unpopular conversation that only a few people were having to a mainstream concept. The adventure travel community may be the renegades of the larger tourism industry, but we’ve certainly borne witness to this shift. At the Trendspotting Lab session, a packed room overflowed out the door as delegates listened to panelists discuss the trends that have emerged prominently...
Old Town Canoes Celebrates 125 Years
5 Jul 2023
In 1857 Henry David Thoreau and a guide from New England’s Penobscot Nation, Joseph Polis, took a round-trip canoe journey from Bangor, Maine, to the Allagash Lakes. One of the things the two travelers discussed was the construction of their birch bark canoe, a type the Penobscot people had been making for centuries. Little did they know that their topic of conversation would eventually lead to the founding of America’s longest-lived watercraft manufacturer, Old Town Canoes. It was that original Native American boat design that inspired a man by the name of A.E. Wickett when, in 1898, he started building a similar wood-and-canvas canoe as a side business for the Gray family out behind their hardware store in Old Town, Maine (a town that sits, fittingly enough, on the banks of the Penobscot River). Many of the company’s early emplo...
L.L. Bean unveils new headquarters in Freeport
20 Jun 2023
L.L. Bean cut the ribbon on its $110 million Freeport headquarters Thursday. Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman, great-grandson of L.L. Bean, said that the design is intended to bring the outdoors inside through multi-story windows and indoor and outdoor meeting spaces. "More than a century later, L.L. Bean's purpose is the same as when L.L. founded his company, which is to inspire and enable people to experience the restorative power of being outside," Gorman said. "I'm so proud to say that now we have a headquarters that can do the same for our employees." Chief operations officer Marie McCarthy said the building's design also reflects a commitment to sustainability. Materials from the former building were re-used where possible and the facility will run on 80% solar power, with energy recovery systems to reduce heating and coo...
Portland couple launches ‘queer-focused’ outdoor gear service
15 Jun 2023
When you hear the word library, your first thought probably isn’t about camping and hiking gear. But as of last week, that’s exactly the kind of library nestled in the basement of Portland’s Equality Community Center in the heart of the Arts District. Last week, partners Hallie Herz and Eva Fury officially launched the Kindling Collective, a nonprofit outdoor gear rental service with an emphasis on the queer community. The mission of the Kindling Collective is to support LGBTQ individuals who have felt excluded from physical education and athletics, or felt unsafe or unwelcome in outdoor recreation activities. “Most things are centered around straight people and queer people have to figure out how to get in,” Herz said.
Wood Is Good: Building a wood surfboard with Maine’s Grain Surfboards
6 Jun 2023
Making a surfboard from foam is of course very cool, but it does not have the tradition of “whiskey planks," which means it will forever be inferior to the process of building a wooden surfboard. Whiskey planks is a shipbuilding thing, technically, a celebration when two crucial parts of the boat are joined, I forget which parts. At Grain Surfboards though, when it was time to join the deck and bottom of a wooden board I’d been building for a couple of days, we glued the suckers together, then me and the handful of other people in their workshop gathered around a bottle of Glenfiddich and tipped back shots. Whiskey planks. Then it was back to work.
Governor Mills Announces Nine New Land for Maine’s Future Conservation Projects
2 Jun 2023
Governor Janet Mills today announced funding for nine new Land for Maine's Future (LMF) conservation projects across Maine, advancing the State of Maine’s commitment to preserve precious natural resources, protect wildlife habitats, and ensure public access to lakes, rivers, scenic views, and mountain vistas.
Maine GearShare Welcomes Next Executive Director
2 Jun 2023
BRUNSWICK, MAINE - Maine GearShare's Board of Directors is thrilled to announce the appointment of Josh Bossin as the organization's new Executive Director. He will step into the role on June 1, 2023. Josh has been involved with the organization for a year through both committee and consulting work. He will bring to this role many years of experience in the outdoors, equipment rental operations, gear repair, and administrative management.
Group wants $35M for Wabanaki culture visitor station at Katahdin Woods and Waters
25 May 2023
Making the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument more easily accessible to the public while accentuating the Wabanaki heritage of the land are the focuses of a $35 million capital campaign announced Tuesday by the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters. The effort, combining the efforts and resources of the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, the Elliotsville Foundation Inc., the National Park Service and a Wabanaki Advisory Board, will fund a visitor contact station, priority park projects and Wabanaki initiatives. The Friends campaign, called “A Monumental Welcome,” has already raised $22.8 million. The Quimby Family Philanthropies, Roxanne Quimby Foundation and Elliotsville Foundation Inc. have committed to donating $10 million of that. Continue reading here
Good To-Go Adds to Its Marketing Team
15 May 2023
Kristen Murphy joins Good To-Go after 12 years at Vibram Corporation and will be focused on growing Good To-Go’s audience and supporting its retail partners. Good To-Go, the award-winning dehydrated gourmet meal brand founded by Chef Jennifer Scism, has added to its team hiring Kristen Murphy as its Marketing Manager. With a deep understanding of the outdoor industry, Murphy will be focused on growing Good To-Go’s audience and supporting its retail partners.
Mainebiz: Statewide coalition backs $30M bond for Maine trails
1 May 2023
A statewide coalition of more than 260 Maine businesses, towns and organizations are urging lawmakers to pass a $30 million bond to expand and maintain trails for hiking, snowmobiling and other purposes. In a letter to Maine lawmakers made public at a State House news conference on Wednesday, supporters note that trails are an essential component of Maine's $3 billion outdoor recreation economy.
Skowhegan pushes to position itself as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts
5 Apr 2023
Several projects are in the works to lure outdoor adventurers to town, and Main Street Skowhegan this week is organizing an Outdoor Rec & Tech Summit to address obstacles facing the outdoor recreation industry in Maine. Read more in the Sun Journal.
Kittery’s Good To-Go leverages Maine’s mentorship and capital resources
20 Mar 2023
Jennifer Scism, co-founder and CEO of a Kittery maker of natural dehydrated meals for active people, recalls a time early on when she was thinking about scaling from preparing 20 servings per day to 20,000.
Portland startup Marin Skincare finds space on L.L.Bean shelves
17 Mar 2023
Marin Skincare, a Portland startup that produces a skin cream using a lobster byproduct, has scored featured placement at L.L.Bean’s Home Store on its flagship campus in Freeport.
Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation Collaborates on National Guidebook Developed for Offices of Outdoor Recreation
8 Mar 2023
Carolann Ouellette, director of the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation, is pleased to share the release of the first-ever Guidebook on Developing Offices of Outdoor Recreation by the Confluence of States that provides best practices and strategies on developing successful offices of outdoor recreation and supports directors of current state offices of outdoor recreation across the nation. Read more here
The Daily: Opolis Optics Turns Plastic Bottles Into Goggles
3 Mar 2023
The goggles and sunglasses brand won an Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. The Maine Outdoor Brands organization has been a key supporter of the start-up.
OWAA: The latest from the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show 2023
6 Feb 2023
Outdoor Writers Association of American Outdoor Voices Blog: Originally developed for outdoor restaurants to use during the pandemic, made-in-Maine Hüga Heated Cushions are rechargeable, water-resistant, portable, easy-to-clean and, of course, heated. There are three temperature settings that can range from 85-120℉ and the batteries can last from 6-10 hours.
WINNERS OF ANNUAL OUTDOOR RETAILER INNOVATION AWARDS ANNOUNCED AT SNOW SHOW
12 Jan 2023
SALT LAKE CITY – (January 12, 2023) – The winners of the fifth annual Outdoor Retailer Innovation Awards were announced in a ceremony on the second night of Outdoor Retailer Snow Show on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah and includes Maine's Opolis. — StokedSnow Goggles made with Opolis’ patent-pending blend StokedPlastic®
Axios: A smaller Outdoor Retailer show returns to Salt Lake City
9 Jan 2023
Salt Lake City is also less expensive, said Ponch Membreño, a spokesperson for Maine Outdoor Brands, a nonprofit that helps fund small Maine companies' attendance at the show. For smaller companies, the show is still valuable because they can "potentially meet a big account, which always seems to happen," Membreño said. "Even though it's not 100 buyers a day, they meet one great contact and it pays for the whole trip."
Watershed: Maine’s outdoor recreation economy generated $2.8 billion in 2021, report shows
10 Nov 2022
Maine's outdoor recreation economy generated $2.8 billion in economic output in 2021, representing a 19.3% increase over 2020, a new national report shows. The report, released Wednesday, marks the fifth consecutive year the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis has released government data on the sector. The latest edition shows how the outdoor industry continues to build on growing popularity during the pandemic.
Outdoor recreation generates billions for Maine’s economy
10 Nov 2022
A report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that Maine's outdoor industry made up about 3.6 percent of the total economy. The numbers show Maine is one of the top five states in the country when it comes to the value of outdoor recreation in the state's total gross domestic product. Manufacturing and sales of gear and equipment added $348 million to the economy last year, which is a 21 percent boost from 2020.
Confluence of States Leaders Gather in Nevada, Elect New Leadership from Michigan and Maine
1 Nov 2022
State-level outdoor recreation leaders representing the Confluence of States gathered at the Outdoor Media Summit alongside industry partners to elect organization leadership, discuss key issues affecting the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy, and strategize about the continued advancement of the outdoor economy through their engagement with the Outdoor Recreation Industry Confluence of States Accords. Brad Garmon, Executive Director of the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, was elected Chair of the Confluence of States Coalition for 2023. Carolann Ouellette, Director of the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation, was elected to serve as Vice-Chair.
Report finds outdoor recreation racks up $188M in annual sales in southern Maine
26 Oct 2022
By Laurie Schreiber The outdoor recreation industry is responsible for a significant portion of southern Maine’s economy, attracting 5.5 million visitors in 2020 and generating $188.6 million in annual sales. The industry also contributed nearly $105.3 million to the regional gross domestic product and represented 12% of Maine’s total outdoor recreation. The findings came in a report commissioned by the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission and conducted by Camoin Associates, an economic development consulting firm with offices in Portland. “We saw a need for this report because we recognize the potential for outdoor recreation to drive our economy in southern Maine,” Paul Schumacher, the commission’s executive director, said in a news release.
‘Maine Outdoor Economy Summit’ stresses importance of Maine’s outdoor industry
13 Oct 2022
People in Maine’s outdoor industry came together in Portland Thursday to say Maine's beauty is not only wonderful, but a way to build up Maine's economy. Thursday, the "Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation" teamed up with "Maine Outdoor Brands" to present the first ever "Maine Outdoor Economy Summit."
L.L.Bean x University of California Irvine Research Finds Time Outdoors Increases Resilience, Strengthens Relationships
5 Oct 2022
In celebration of its 110th Anniversary, iconic outdoor retailer L.L.Bean unveils new, proprietary research findings that experiencing awe in the outdoors makes us more resilient and strengthens relationships. L.L.Bean is turning these insights into action with partner Mental Health America (MHA) to fund programming focused on improving mental well-being through time spent outdoors.
Mainebiz: Brunswick nonprofit teams with 1% for the Planet
3 Oct 2022
Teens to Trails, a Brunswick nonprofit that connects young Mainers to outdoor experiences, aims to raise its fundraising game through a new partnership with 1% for the Planet.
Field & Stream: Hot Rods: How Maine Fly Co. Builds Small-Batch Fly Rods
30 Sep 2022
Maine Fly Company makes beautiful off-the-shelf and custom fly rods by hand. Here's a look at how they do it.
Boston Globe: Lotion made from lobster goo? Oft-discarded byproduct fuels business dreams of Maine couple.
30 Sep 2022
Now, a young Maine couple is pitching another benefit of lobster: They say a protein in the lobster’s circulatory fluid, which is usually washed down the drain, can help ease skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
Portland nonprofit to build $300K kids’ outdoor recreation center
16 Sep 2022
Rippleffect, a Portland-based nonprofit that promotes youth development and leadership through outdoor activities, is teaming with the Portland Public Schools to build a $300,000 children's outdoor recreation center.
Maine Outdoor Film Festival tweaks formula for 2022
29 Jul 2022
The Maine Outdoor Film Festival, promoted as an annual celebration of adventure, conservation and the arts, used to take place at venues across the state before launching a Portland flagship event in 2020. The annual gathering raises money for Teens to Trails, a Brunswick-based nonprofit that connects young people to outdoor activities. With less than a week to go until opening night July 28, Mainebiz caught up with festival director Nick Callanan for a sneak preview and for his assessment of Maine's film industry.