Jim Spring, who served as chairman of the International Skiing History Association during the challenging period of its growth, 2004 — 2007, died on Monday, October 22, 2012 at his home in Boulder. After stepping down as ISHA chair, Jim continued to serve on ISHA’s board of directors, donating generously of his time and money to the organization he loved. He also served as a trustee of the Thurmer Endowment, which supports the publication of Skiing Heritage magazine.
Jim passed away while battling throat cancer, at the age of 75.
In 1989 Jim founded Leisure Trends Group (LTG), and over the past 23 years developed led the company from its infancy to a fast growing, highly respected company serving the sporting goods and specialty retail industries. He was fondly known as “the smartest man in the specialty retail business.” With a career spanning 50 years, he was universally respected for his business acumen, keen retail wisdom, honesty and humor (and most of all, one of the greatest belly-chuckles the world has ever known!) all of which Jim freely shared with employees, peers and the sports industry through untold articles, columns and speeches.
“Jim was a special person and a major influence on the snow sports industry,” wrote SIA President David Ingemie. “His intellectual mind was always at work trying to uncover what was happening and why it was happening in leisure activities.”
After serving as the Editor of Ski Business, and executive editor of SKI magazine, Jim pioneered retail sales tracking with breakthroughs including the first working universal vendor code and the use of data captured at point-of-sale in retail stores. Jim created this method of tracking sales through his first company, SMART, eventually selling the company to NPD. Following SMART, Jim started Leisure Trends Group and eventually completed his career as owner and Chairman, mentor and friend, to the company’s nearly 50 person team.
Jim authored three books on retail management and the use of statistical information. He also created the concept of segmenting Americans by their leisure time activities and their attitudes towards those activities. He was a tireless champion of the specialty retailer.
Jim is survived by his wife of 22 years, Joy Spring, and his three children, James Wright Spring, Elizabeth Hayden Spring and Thomas Cody Clarke Spring. His brother Russell; Laura, and two grandchildren, Sophia and Maxwell Spring.