Breckenridge ski maker Rocky Mountain Underground in running for Wright Award | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge ski maker Rocky Mountain Underground in running for Wright Award

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Rocky Mountain Underground, whose skis are shown in action in this image provided by the business, is one of 12 contenders for this year’s The Wright Award, presented annually to a Rocky Mountain-based business.

Rocky Mountain Underground, a Breckenridge-based manufacturer of skis, packs and outdoor apparel, was recognized Tuesday as one of the top innovators in the Rocky Mountain region, along with companies like Yeti Cycles, Powderhorn Resort and Weston Snowboards.

According to a news release, RMU is among the 12 contenders this year for The Wright Award, presented at the culmination of a multi-day summit that's designed as a celebration of the outdoors industry and culture by bringing industry leaders together with members of the general public.

The Wright conference will run May 1-3 in downtown Golden with keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops and events before culminating with the award presentation on May 3. For more about The Wright, visit TheWright.co.

The 12 contenders for the coveted award are now creating 90-second videos to tell their stories that will air during the awards presentation at Colorado School of Mines in Golden.

“We had quite a few nominations from peers of Rocky Mountain Underground, and it’s a company that we’ve followed for a number of years.”Chuck SullivanCo-founder of Something Independent

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Selected from a pool of 125 nominees from five mountain states, the other contenders are Alpacka Rafts, Green Guru Gear, The Hot Tomato, Mountain States Snowcats, Sarabella Fishing, Strafe Outerwear, Western Rise and Wood's High Mountain Distillery.

"We like to say all these folks are cut from the same cloth," said Chuck Sullivan, co-founder of Something Independent, which organizes The Wright summit. "(The 12 nominees) are inherently adventurous, carve their own path and share a perspective of independence, but their model of leadership … you can really sense that it's bold, principled and collaborative. Those are the common threads that tie everybody together."

Following the videos, three finalists pulled from the 12 peer-based nominees will face a rapid-fire Q&A session from a panel of judges, who will then select the winner and present the business with a $5,000 prize. "We had quite a few nominations from peers of Rocky Mountain Underground, and it's a company that we've followed for a number of years," Sullivan said, adding that during that time, he's seen RMU grow, pivot and show an uncommon grittiness and resiliency.

"Ski manufacturing is not an easy biz, and to build a brand in a community like Breckenridge that (co-founder Mike Waesche) calls home is fantastic. It's kind of palpable — you can feel it and to hear other people talk about (RMU) inspires us."