A sportsmen’s show that has brought the greater Salt Lake City area as many as 40,000 visitors and $45 million in economic stimulus each year is moving to Denver.
The Outdoor Retailer trade show announced earlier this month that they will be moving their operation to Denver after facing pressure from several outdoor executives over concerns about Utah’s public land policies.
“We chose Denver because of Colorado’s longtime commitment to protecting and nurturing public lands,” Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer show director said in a press conference last week according to reports. “We chose Denver because this is where the industry wants to be.”
The show called Salt Lake City home for two decades, where last year it brought in nearly 1,500 exhibitors at their Summer Market. In addition to some questionable policies surrounding public lands in the state, a push to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument designation was seemingly the straw that broke the camels back.
In light of the developments, the show put out a request for new host city proposals in February that included bids from Denver, Portland, and a Hail Mary bid from Salt Lake City. According to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, both Denver and the state of Colorado “pushed it hard,” to win the bid, citing the state’s commitment to federally managed public land policies.
Emerald Expositions, the parent company of the show, has also announced that they will be adding an additional show in the Denver area. In addition to the regularly scheduled Summer Market in July and the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in November, the organization is rolling out plans for the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show to be held in January as well.
The original contract in Utah was originally set to expire in 2019 but according to Visit Salt Lake, an agreement was reached, allowing the show to take place in Denver beginning next year.
With the conglomerate of shows heading to Denver, the city is expecting the events to attract 85,000 visitors annually paired with a $110 million economic impact.