An official announcement confirmed today that the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show will move to Denver, Colorado, next year.
Luis Benitez, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, said in a press release that this is “a proud day for Colorado.”
“The outdoor recreation community not only serves as a significant economic driver for our state and our nation, but it also plays an important role in contributing to the national dialogue regarding important issues around climate change, access to public lands, and the promotion of health and wellness,” he said. “We are honored to have the responsibility of helping lead this dialogue at a national level and creating a legacy for our state to be proud of.”
Salt Lake City, Utah, has hosted the OR trade show since 1996. Industry leaders and organizers of the summer and winter trade shows said in February that OR would be moved out of Utah in response to the state lawmakers’ efforts to have the Trump Administration rescind or reduce Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. President Donald Trump has since ordered a review of all national monuments designated in the last 21 years, an action that many outdoor enthusiasts have regarded as an attack on public lands. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released an intirim report on June 12 in which he recommended reducing Bears Ears Monument. Patagonia, an outdoor industry mogul, sparked a movement to pull the OR trade shows out of Utah in early February when Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution urging Trump to rescind the new monument.
Now both the winter and summer Outdoor Retailer shows will be held in Denver. It was announced at the end of May that Emerald Expositions–which owns OR–had acquired the SnowSports Industries America Snow Show and that the SIA event would be hosted in conjunction with the winter Outdoor Retailer starting January 2018. The Snow Show has been in Denver since 2011. The move was seen by many speculators as an indicator of where the summer OR event was headed.
A Denver Post article noted that the Colorado Convention Center is booked years in advance, so shuffling events that were previously scheduled to make room for the massive biannual OR trade shows over the next five years was no small task. According to the Post, in recent years the summer and winter shows brought in an estimated 45,000 people and $45 million a year to SLC.
Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver, was quoted in a press release: “This was a difficult and challenging task to place three 20,000-plus person shows in our busy convention seasons. However, we know that this is important to the State and City for economic development opportunities beyond the economic impact of these three annual tradeshows.”
The same press release quoted Denver Mayor Michael Hancock talking about the skyrocketing tourism in the state: “For the first time, Denver surpassed 30 million annual visitors and for the 11th consecutive year we have generated record tourism numbers.”
According to an Outdoor Industry Association report cited in the press announcement, outdoor recreation in Colorado generates $28 billion in consumer spending every year, with more than 71 percent of the state’s 5.7 million residents participating in outdoor activities annually.
“Outdoor recreation is a huge economic force in the state of Colorado,” Amy Roberts, Executive Director of OIA, said in the release. “It generates $28 billion in consumer spending annually and contributes a whopping 229,000 jobs and $2 billion dollars in state and local tax revenue. Colorado’s elected officials have shown significant leadership in promoting policies that ensure the outdoor recreation economy continues to thrive. OIA looks forward to having our industry gathering contribute to Denver’s economy and serve as a platform for collaboration that increases outdoor access and participation for all Americans.”
Future dates for the winter and summer 2018 shows are listed here.