The Outdoor Retailer Trade Show Moves to Colorado

Downtown Denver during the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Credit: Getty Images

Yesterday, it was announced that the biannual Outdoor Retailer trade show—the largest trade show for the outdoor community — is moving to Denver, Colorado. This follows months of hunting for a new location after grappling with the show’s original home in Utah due to the state leaders' outward hostility — and proposed bills to prove it — toward America’s public lands.

“We received submissions from truly incredible outdoor cities — a testament to the strength of the outdoor community,” said Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer show director. “Denver is the undeniable industry choice."

The first show in Denver is slated for January, 2018, the “Snow Show.” Next July comes the Summer Market. All future dates will be released in the upcoming days. As the Denver Post reported, Emerald Expositions, the show’s producers, actually had a contract with Salt Lake’s Salt Palace Convention Center through 2018, but they reached an agreement to pull out early.

“Salt Lake values the outdoor industry and the public lands that provide its recreation foundation,” Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said in a statement. “Our environmental record will serve us well as we promote the area to both new and repeat visitors and clients. We will continue to emphasize the value of a vibrant convention and visitor presence to our economy.”

The outdoor industry is a huge economic driver in Denver. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, it generates $28 billion in consumer spending annually, contributes 229,000 jobs, and creates $2 billion in local and state tax revenue. More importantly, the OIA feels that Colorado’s elected officials — Governor John Hickenlooper, the new director for the office of Outdoor Recreation Luis Benitez, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in particular —  have shown economic and conservation leadership.

“We are talking about supporting wilderness areas in the state of Colorado, four national parks, eight national monuments, state parks, state wildlife — all of this comes together as a cumulative attraction, and really does make us the number one destination for outdoor recreation visitors in the country," the Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said at a press conference. "And even more important, it's part of the defining characteristic of Colorado where a young entrepreneur can come and not just create a business, but create a lifestyle."