BOULDER CITY, NV (BRAIN) — If you want to gauge just how much traffic OutDoor Demo gets, one way to do it is by the amount of water that’s ingested.
By noon on Tuesday, Park Tool had gone through 100 cases of water bottles. The Twin Cities tool manufacturer has provided shade, water and sunscreen to Demo attendees for eight years.
“This is our thank you to the industry,” said Park Tool’s Bill Armas, adding that Tuesday’s traffic was about twice that of Monday’s, when he had handed out 65 cases worth of water bottles by high noon.
Right at the drop-off spot for the Demo shuttle, retailers picked up bottles as they headed out or into the exhibition area at Bootleg Canyon.
Nuun had served up nearly 200 gallons of water with its hydration mix by 2 p.m. on Monday, according to Tyler Smith, who was working the booth, conveniently located along the path of demo riders.
Park and Nuun’s hospitality brought relief to many as temperatures in Boulder City topped the triple digits on both Demo days. On Tuesday, winds picked up with gusts hitting 20 to 30 mph.
On Monday, exhibitors typically see fewer retailers, with distributors coming through their booths. This year was no exception.
“Today it seems slower,” Tim Jackson, marketing manager for Focus Bicycles, said Monday afternoon. “Everyone I talked to says the same. A lot of people are being selective of what they want to ride.”
Lars-Erik Johnsen, who handles PR for Scott Sports, said people started arriving at their booth at 9 a.m. to get demo bikes on Monday. “I was surprised we had people here at 9 a.m. We had a good response to our road bikes—they’ve been off the racks, as have our full-suspension bikes. Surprisingly, people also wanted to ride the 27.5 Scale on these trails,” he said. “Traffic was brisk until it got hot. We were all hands on deck.”
Demo has become a bigger event for customers in South America and Asia in recent years, Johnsen added.
Van Dessel, one of the brands that exhibited only at Demo, fielded a lot of interest for its U.S.-made Aloominator ’cross bike, said the company’s Nick Iacovelli. The bike will also be seen under the lights of CrossVegas tonight.
Highway Two kept the stream of visitors rolling through its Demo booth by offering Fizik’s M5 shoes, Crankbrothers’ Candy 2 pedals and a T-shirt for $125. By mid-afternoon Monday, the Olney, Illinois, distributor had sold 75 pairs of shoes and pedals.
“Last year we sold that many road shoes for both Demo days,” said Adam Bookwalter, North America area manager for Fizik.
“We offered the special Demo pricing because we want dealers to know we offer mountain bike shoes, not just road,” Bookwalter said.
“Tuesday is typically a busier day, but between 9 a.m. and noon [Monday] it was pretty busy,” said Matt Millen, sales and marketing manager for Lapierre, which shared a booth with sister brand Raleigh.
Lapierre brought 15 mountain bikes for demos, and most of them were out in the morning on Monday, he said, with only smalls and extra larges left on the racks.
Show organizers didn’t have final attendance tallies for Demo as of mid-afternoon Tuesday, but communications and PR director for Interbike Justin Gottlieb said this year’s Boulder City event had 20 to 25 new exhibitors.
“The far west side of the demo was built up quite a bit,” he said. “And we also offered more food options.”
The second Ride 2 Recovery Honor Ride, which took riders on a 25-mile route from the Mandalay Bay to Bootleg Canyon Tuesday morning, drew in more than 150 participants this year, a big bump from last year’s 25 riders.
"The police escort was key to its success,” Gottlieb said. “We definitely plan to do it again next year.”
The Demo will remain in Bootleg Canyon next year but moves up a week earlier, Sept. 8-9, preceding the indoor show from Sept. 10-12.