by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 01, 2017
Emerald Expositions, producer of the Outdoor Retailer trade shows, is moving its events from Salt Lake City to Denver as of January 2018. Now to be produced in Colorado are the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, the latter of which will move to Denver in November 2018. Grassroots Connect -- an invitation-only event for members of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance -- is expected to co-locate with the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show.

Outdoor Retailer had been held in Salt Lake City for 22 years; the Salt Palace Convention Center even had added space through the years to keep the show in town, and this move is considered a blow to the facility and the city.

Emerald Expositions decided to move its events in protest of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's signing of a resolution from the Utah Legislature that asked President Trump to rescind the designation of Southern Utah's Bears Ears landscape as a National Monument. Following a teleconference between Herbert and various representatives of Emerald, show officials announced Utah would not be included in the RFP process for future shows.

"We received submissions from truly incredible outdoor cities -- a testament to the strength of the outdoor community," said Marisa Nicholson, show director for Outdoor Retailer. "Denver is the undeniable industry choice." The decision to move was supported by the outdoor community and related organizations, including the Outdoor Industry Association, SnowSports Industries America and the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.

In order to move out of Utah, Emerald came to an agreement with Visit Salt Lake to end a contract in place to host the OR trade shows through 2018. The July 2017 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market was the final OR show held in the state.

"I'm sad to see Outdoor Retailer leave our area, but I have no doubt that our future as a convention and meetings destination is bright," said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

Bringing the show to Denver is huge for the city and the state, which is a natural choice for the event. "This is an exciting time for Denver and Colorado, and it was a difficult and challenging task to place three 20,000-plus person trade shows in our city," said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver. "We know that this is important to the state and city for economic development opportunities that go far beyond the economic impact of these three annual trade shows, and our hospitality community is excited to have three annual shows coming to Denver each year."

Read more about the issues and find the upcoming schedules for OR's related events by clicking here.