DENVER - When you're the founder of local ski company trying to unveil a new product line, having snow to test it is important.

But, in the weeks before SnowSports Industry Association's annual international trade show, Ben Anderson was a little bit nervous.

"Yeah, you know, it's getting scary," said Anderson, founder and chief executive officer of Iclantic Skis based in Denver.

The "Snow Show" draws buyers from all over the world. Anderson was thankful that that snow finally did show the week during the yearly event at Denver's Colorado Convention Center.

"Timing is everything," Anderson said. "It's like, now we get to go up to the mountains and experience all the skis and get on the snow."

The SIA Snow Show brings in about 20,000 people each year. Most of them are either selling products or looking to buy them for various distributorships around the world.

"About 80-plus percent of the buying power, all retail buying power will be represented here," said David Ingemie, president of the SnowSports Industry Association. "All the heavy hitters are here."

Ingemie says he has been watching snow totals closely in Colorado and around the United States. He says the year started off alarmingly slow.

"Retail sales were off about 24 percent nationwide until the middle of December," Ingemie said. "Then, after December, we were only down four percent nationwide."

When the snow sports industry is focused on Colorado, Ingemie says having a good snow total in the mountains is key for the image of Colorado.

"They're here. They get a chance to ski or ride. They go home and talk about it," Ingemie said.

Anderson hopes it can start a word-of-mouth tourism push for the state.

"I think it really helps Colorado as a whole," Anderson said. "You know, it is the industry leaders here. It's the people that really have a voice and are respected. So, when they come back and start saying it's good. I think people listen and want to come out."

Steve Gibbs is a Denver-based salesman who deals in ski tuning equipment. He says it is important to have a good report from a good showing here on good snow.

"It's not only the United States, but Canada and a number of foreign countries," Gibbs said. It's huge for us."

Anderson hopes it helps prospective buyers enjoy his new product line. Starting Monday, the Snow Show moves to the mountains where people will demo various products related to downhill sports and cross country skiing.

"Snow makes people happy and happy makes people buy," Anderson said.