There's no doubt that December can be a hectic month but taking time to slow down and consider the year's highlights can help us practice intentional gratitude for what we've achieved and experienced. So, for the final part of our Best of 2021 series, the Snow Peak USA leadership team shared their thoughts on the year and what they're excited about for 2022. If you haven't already, don't miss reading parts one, two, and three of our Best of 2021 series.
What was your most memorable Snow Peak experience in 2021?
"Hands down the Snow Peak Way. After almost two years of not camping together, over 250 of our most loyal Snow Peakers came together with our employees to spend three magical days camping in a gorgeous open canyon on the eastern flanks of Mount Hood. Kids ran free through the fields, laughter was the language of the weekend, and we collectively created a spontaneous community united by an appreciation of time spent with nature and others. Every time I attend the Snow Peak Way, I am struck by how truly special it is. I can't wait for Snow Peak Way 2022!" - Matt Liddle, Chief Operating Officer
"Snow Peak Way! The team did a great job organizing the event, and the people who joined us were amazing!" - Yui Uchida, Chief Culture Officer
"Without hesitation, Snow Peak Way proved to be the most memorable Snow Peak experience in 2021. Participating in this storied event contributed to yet another level of appreciation for this incredible brand. The ability to deeply connect with so many consumers, share time in nature and build immediate friendships was beyond restorative. It is truly unique to see how many people love the emotional connection Snow Peak facilitates through distinct experiences and Takibi Time!" - Jason McGibbon, Chief Revenue Officer
"The highlight of my year was making the move into our new Operations Core this last August. Over the last decade of my time at Snow Peak, we have always worked within warehouse facilities that constrained our operations in very noticeable ways. When I started in 2009, Snow Peak USA was working out of a small 4,000 SF warehouse in Clackamas, Oregon. Then in 2012, we moved into an awkwardly laid out 9,000 SF warehouse in Portland's Pearl District. This facility had all sorts of complications, including loading and unloading all of our trucks at grade level on a busy thoroughfare. Honestly, I don't know how we pulled off running our logistical operations from 2012 until 2018 when we subleased a much more open layout 10,000 SF warehouse in SE Portland. That move was a breath of fresh air and allowed quick growth, but we quickly outgrew the space.
This year, finally, we moved into a beautiful, state-of-the-art, newly constructed warehouse in NE Portland near the PDX airport. Our new Operations Core, as we like to call it, boasts a 4,000 SF open office with a dedicated customer service room, six conference rooms, a tent meeting space. Additionally, it has a built-out 2,500 SF showroom featuring a prototype of our Jyubako and our other latest product releases. The showroom is outfitted on one side with a stadium seating structure that leads up to an AstroTurf mezzanine that overlooks the showroom. Best of all, our new Operation core provides the latest technology of tilted construction and 35' clear height ceilings over a 30,000 SF open warehouse space. We have only begun to see the potential of this new space for the future of Snow Peak USA's operations." - Ross Halbach, Chief Financial Officer
What was your favorite outdoor moment in 2021?
"My favorite outdoor moment was also at Snow Peak Way. I really enjoyed all the workshops, and the highlight of the event was the bird-watching walk led by John Connors!" - Yui Uchida, Chief Culture Officer
"As much as I cherish the gathering moments, one of my most recent favorites includes a long, solo hike in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Disconnecting from the chaos our world has been delivering, turning off technology for the day, and simply existing within the beauty of Mother Nature was incredible. It was a terrific reminder as to how important it is to take time for oneself, get outside and appreciate the finer things in life!" - Jason McGibbon, Chief Revenue Officer
"I've had many, but I'll narrow it down to two. One was camping with a large group of families at the campground in Long Beach, Washington that Snow Peak recently purchased – we all drove out on a wild section of the beach and grilled local oysters over a Takibi Fire and Grill while the kids played in the surf and the sun went down. Best Takibi Time of 2021! The other was a particularly memorable Thanksgiving. Usually, my family either hosts or joins a big gathering, but this year my wife and sons and dog and I decided to do something different. We pre-cooked the traditional meal, drove out to the vast isolation of the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon, and gave thanks while camping under a blanket of desert stars." - Matt Liddle, Chief Operating Officer
"Unfortunately, 2021 was another year of limited opportunities to gather in large groups outside. I felt extremely fortunate to be part of the group to attend the Snow Peak Way in the breathtaking landscapes of the Tygh Valley. After having Snow Peak Way canceled in 2020, it felt extra special to get together with the Snow Peak community during some awe-inspiring clear autumn days of October. Again, the time reminded me of how incredible it is when a Snow Peak "village" is built in a remote place, and the magic Snow Peak can create through offering an experience that restores our collective humanity in connecting us with the rhythms of wild places." - Ross Halbach, Chief Financial Officer
What are you excited about for 2022?
"2022 is going to be a big year for Snow Peak. We'll relocate our New York City store and lay the groundwork for additional retail stores, bring to life some really special partnerships and collaborations, and expand the ways that our Snow Peakers can meaningfully connect with the brand and one another. Bring it on!" - Matt Liddle, Chief Operating Officer
"I'm excited for Snow Peak NYC 2.0, continuing development of the Long Beach Campfield, and Snow Peak Way 2022!" - Yui Uchida, Chief Culture Officer
"Building our community of Snow Peakers and deepening our relationships with our customers. Sadly, we are likely to continue facing the trials and tribulations of life as we turn the page on 2022, but I am optimistic that our growing community, and efforts to expand our footprint, will have a positive impact. Enjoying the connections facilitated through Snow Peak not only inspires but motivates me to continue finding small ways to make a difference!" - Jason McGibbon, Chief Revenue Officer
"2021 was a foundational building year for Snow Peak USA. Not only did we move into a brand new, state-of-the-art warehouse, but we also migrated all our accounting and operational systems to SAP ByDesign. Our transition to SAP was a two-year journey that was taken to support the growth of our business in the US. Additionally, we implemented a new Warehouse Management System to go along with our new warehouse. I am excited to see how we can now begin to build in 2022 on the core infrastructural work that came to a culmination in 2021. We've worked hard to build the foundation in 2021, now I can't wait to see how this foundation will allow Snow Peak to do incredible new things in the US." -Ross Halbach, Chief Financial Officer