Colorado Outdoor Industry Rally to Keep Outdoor Retailer Show in Denver

Colorado Governor Jared Polis looks at a nano backpack donated by SeatoSummit of Boulder at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at the Colorado Convention Center Wednesday, June 19, 2019 in Denver.
David Zalubowski/AP

Five years ago, the outdoor industry flexed its new political muscle as it moved out of Utah and held its biannual outdoor retailer trade shows in Colorado.

Brands and outside advocates, upset by Utah’s drive to dismantle protections at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, have moved their annual gatherings — which draw 85,000 visitors and drive an annual impact of 110 million dollars – at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

Now, as Outdoor Retailer owner Emerald X negotiates a new contract with Denver and the annual Snow Show is set to begin within a week of skipping last year, Utah is pushing to reclaim the show. And Colorado isn’t giving up.

“Outdoors industry leaders have said in a clear and loud voice that this landmark event belongs to a state that shares its values ​​on public lands and recreation,” read a letter sent by Sens. Colorado Americans. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and Colorado Governor Jared Polis at Emerald X executives on Wednesday. “Colorado is the perfect match to continue as the home of the Outdoor Retailer Show.”

The past five years have not been smooth sailing for Denver and the Outdoor Retailer Shows. The original plan when the shows left Utah was to hold three gatherings a year: a snow show in January, the summer market in June, and a new winter market in November. Visit Denver, the city’s convention and visitor bureau, said in 2018 that it had moved several other trade shows to meet the needs of outdoor retailers for three dates a year through 2022.

Learn more via The Colorado Sun.

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