THE SHOP

March '21

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MARCH 2021 THE SHOP 21 THE PATH TO RECOVERY As bleak as much of this overview may seem, there have been bright spots in the morass of chaos and confusion. One has been the opening of Snow Peak's new U.S. headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Snow Peak was founded by Yukio Yamai in the Niigata Prefecture of Japan in 1958, a region with a strong connection to the outdoors. Yamai, an accomplished moun- taineer, was dissatisfied with the available gear on the market and sought to create his own line of products. Since 1980, Snow Peak has been led by Yamai's son, Tohru, who brought interna- tional recognition to a brand that inspires people to enjoy the outdoors. In 1999, Snow Peak came to the U.S. and began distribution out of a Gresham, Oregon garage. Known among backpackers for its ultra- light titanium products, Snow Peak has expanded into overlanding, apparel, home and lifestyle products. In October, Snow Peak's U.S. headquar- ters, which includes a showroom, design center and office, opened for business, with a Japanese restaurant coming in the near future. Taiko drummers initiated the new space, and enthusiasts lined up for blocks outside, observing social distancing while conversing with other attendees. Meanwhile, having opened a satellite location in Tualatin, Oregon in February 2020 prior to the lockdown, Issaquah, Washington's MULE Expedition Outfit- ters could hardly be expected to make a larger investment in real estate, equip- ment and staff—but that's exactly what it did, expanding its occupied space in The most important part of overlanding is the camaraderie.

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