Outdoor Retailer Chooses Mile-High City for All Shows Beginning January 2018

July 14, 2017

U.S. business-to-business trade show and conference producer, Emerald Expositions, has selected Denver as the official home of its three annual Outdoor Retailer trade shows: Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

As the largest U.S. trade shows representing outdoor gear and clothing retailers and manufacturers, the events are expected to draw more than 85,000 attendees and $110 million economic impact annually to The Mile High City, according to show officials.

The shows’ relocation, which kicks off Jan. 25-28 with the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show at the Colorado Convention Center, comes after Emerald announced it would be pulling the OR Summer and Winter Markets out of Salt Lake City in part due to Utah’s political efforts to downsize the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument designation, created by the Obama Administration in 2016.

“Initially our interest in moving any shows was a routine re-examination of what we were offering to the industry (and) we had been exploring a change of dates to better suit the evolving buy/sell product cycle, optimize our hotel blocks and work with the city to provide adequate space for our growing show,” explained Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer show director.

She continued, “We went to RFP for a new location on February 6 (and) at the time, we expected Salt Lake to remain a leading candidate to continue to host Outdoor Retailer. It was only days later that the industry rallied against the current administration’s formal review of designations around public lands. While we hoped to keep a single location for all shows, we explored all options.”

With strong support from the industry behind it, Outdoor Retailer engaged its industry partners including the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), Snow Sports Industries America (SIA) and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance in identifying the best possible home for the shows, which involved setting criteria that required destinations to not only be able to meet the logistical requirements for hosting successful trade shows but also demonstrate alignment with outdoor industry values.

“We received submissions from truly incredible cities – a testament to the strength of the outdoor community,” Nicholson said.

She continued, “Through this process, Denver emerged as the undeniable industry choice that allowed us to host all three shows in a state that places such a high value on outdoor recreation. As outdoor recreation evolves, outdoor businesses need to stand together and adapt to those changes to successfully move forward. We look forward to building a future together and thank Governor Hickenlooper, Luis Benitez, director for the office of Outdoor Recreation, and Mayor Hancock for their gracious support.” 

SnowSports Industries America, OR’s newest industry partner whose SIA Snow Show was acquired by Emerald in May, is thrilled with the decision to bring the shows to the city its recently rebranded Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show has called home for seven years.

“In 2010, SIA brought the 50-year-old Snow Show to Colorado (and) since then SIA, Denver and the state have worked together to build the best platform for the winter business, thereby laying the foundation for this announcement,” said Nick Sargent, SIA president.

He continued, “Denver has been an outstanding partner to SIA and the winter industry, and we are excited to help grow the economic impact that the Outdoor Retailer shows and the SIA On-Snow Demo bring to the state.”

The upcoming OR Summer Market, set for July 26-29 at the Salt Palace Convention Center, will mark the end of OR’s 22-year run in Salt Lake City.

“Outdoor recreation is a huge economic force in the state of Colorado – it generates $28 billion in consumer spending annually and contributes a whopping 229,000 jobs and two billion dollars in state and local tax revenue,” explained Amy Roberts, OIA executive director.

She continued, “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.” 

Meanwhile, Grassroots Connect, an invitation-only event for the specialty outdoor industry, will collocate with Outdoor Retailer in Denver when an appropriate venue is attained, according to show officials.

“Denver is a wonderful choice for hosting a collocated Outdoor Retailer and Grassroots Connect,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.

He added, “These combined events in Denver will deliver the most effective and efficient nine days of our specialty-retail buying cycle. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Outdoor Retailer and OIA to achieve this and other shared industry goals.”

Luis Benitez, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, couldn’t be happier about the change of venue.

“The State of Colorado and Outdoor Retailer share the common belief that protecting public lands is not only good for the economy but also for the soul,” Benitez said.

He continued, “We look forward to becoming the gravitational hub for the thought leadership that represents this important industry that makes an enormous contribution to both Colorado’s and the country’s economy. We’re especially excited to send a heartfelt welcome to all exhibitors and attendees, and look forward to serving and promoting the industry for many years to come.”

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