Consumer confidence returning, but style, simplicity still dictate sales volume. Attribute it to good early snow conditions in parts of the country or the turning tides of the economy, but many retailers are walking around the Show with a spring in their step, a broad smile and good early season sales in their registers.
"Two years ago was horrible because we're in the luxury business," says Dede Longley, ski shop owner and softgoods buyer for the Startingate in Bondville, Vt. "But the tides turn. It doesn't seem that people are backing off from top-end items anymore. If it's got what they're looking for, they'll pay the price."