Patagonia Withdraws from Outdoor Retailer, Citing Host State’s Hostility to the Environment

Patagonia announced today they would be withdrawing from Outdoor Retailer, hosted every year by Salt Lake City, due to Utah Gov Gary Herbert's call to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument. Getty Images

Patagonia announced today that they would be withdrawing from Outdoor Retailer, the largest trade show for the industry, due to Utah Governor Gary Herbert's official urging that the Trump administration rescind the Bears Ears National Monument. Outdoor Retailer is held every year in Salt Lake City, Utah, and brings in an estimated $50 million to the state according to the Outdoor Industry Association.

This move backs an op-ed penned by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard last month (called "The Outdoor Industry Loves Utah; Does Utah Love the Outdoor Industry?") where he said that "Governor Herbert… should show the outdoor industry he wants our business — and that he supports thousands of his constituents of all political persuasions who work in jobs supported by recreation on public lands. We love Utah, but Patagonia’s choice to return for future shows will depend on the Governor’s actions." 

It seems that Patagonia is now standing by Chouinard's words. The Outdoor Industry Association, which organizes OR, also announced that it will not automatically renew its contract with Salt Lake City, which it's done for nearly two decades, and instead solicit proposals from cities that better align with the nonprofit's values, saying, we "look forward to being in a location that, from a business, cultural, and values standpoint, best serves our industry."

The press release from Patagonia is below.

PATAGONIA TO WITHDRAW FROM OUTDOOR RETAILER IN RESPONSE TO GOV. HERBERT’S DECISION TO RESCIND BEARS EARS PROTECTION

Ventura, Calif. (February 7, 2017) – “Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution on Friday urging the Trump administration to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument, making it clear that he and other Utah elected officials do not support public lands conservation nor do they value the economic benefits – $12 billion in consumer spending and 122,000 jobs – that the outdoor recreation industry brings to their state. Because of the hostile environment they have created and their blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah and we are confident other outdoor manufacturers and retailers will join us in moving our investment to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation.“ – Rose Marcario, President and CEO, Patagonia, Inc.