Outdoor Retailer Moves To Denver | Adventure Kayak Magazine | Rapid Media
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A group of paddlers demoing a wooden canoe. Photo Courtesy: Outdoor Retailer

The biannual trade show moves locations after 22 years

After 22 years in Salt Lake City, Utah, Outdoor Retailer has announced that they will be moving all shows to Denver, Colorado. Beginning in January, the shows will be held at the Denver Convention Center.

Outdoor Retailer is a biannual trade show where the world's biggest outdoor brands including paddlesports leaders show off their newest creations. "Stores from around the world are looking to Summer Market as the outdoor sports show of choice for the largest collection of innovative gear, apparel, footwear and accessories for outdoor sports products including adventure travel, backpacking, camping, hiking, climbing, mountaineering, cycling, mountain biking, fishing, fly fishing, health and fitness, military, nutrition and natural products, paddlesports, watersports, SUP, pet products, running, trail running, surf, skate, lifestyle, triathlon, multisport endurance, and our newest category yoga/Pilates." - outdoorretailer.com 

Numerous retailers, including Patagonia, withdrew from Outdoor Retailer after Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution urging the Trump administration to rescind the Bear Ears National Monument that was established in the final days of the Obama Administration.

After the backlash from the public and retailers, Outdoor Retailer began looking for new sites to hold their trade shows. In a Q&A Outdoor Retailer said that there was no shortage of locations. “We received submissions from truly incredible cities - a testament to the strength of the outdoor community. Denver is the undeniable industry choice and basing the show in a state that places such a high value on outdoor recreation is the best move we can make for the outdoor industry. As outdoor recreation evolves, outdoor businesses need to stand together and adapt to those changes in order to successfully move forward.”

With an expected attendance of over 85,000 attendees over three trade shows, the economic impact for the city of Denver is astounding. According to Outdoor Retailer, “We expect the annual direct and indirect economic impact for all three shows - Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market – to be $110M per year.”

Denver convention center
Photo By: Flickr User bonjourpeewee

The move to Denver also gives Outdoor Retailer some new opportunities, one being the elimination of the need for pavilions. “The move to Denver gives us the opportunity to bring Outdoor Retailer under one roof. There are no plans for pavilions at any of the shows. The Denver Convention Center provides the opportunity for a completely new floorplan that we are currently reviewing for all shows. We are working hard to ensure that we continue to foster the current neighborhood and general community feel that we have all come to enjoy and appreciate.”

With a new location brings new questions. One big concern will be housing. But Outdoor retailer says that will not be a problem. “Denver hotel capacity exceeds the capacity we worked with in Salt Lake City. We look forward to working with the Denver community and our new housing vendor, EventSphere, to make a smooth transition to Denver.”

Will there be a summer demo? "Yes, we are working to develop a plan that will provide the industry the best opportunity to test product, demo gear, host meaningful education, network with the community and enjoy the outdoors."

Outdoor Retailer 2018 “will stage at the Denver Convention Center beginning in January with the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, January 25-28, 2018. Outdoor Retailer Summer Market will be July 23-26, 2018 and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market will be November 8-11, 2018. We will announce future dates shortly, once contracts are finalized for both Outdoor Retailer as well as for the co-location of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Connect.”

Read the full Q&A here...

Read the full press release for show director, Maris Nicholson below:

"For 35 years Outdoor Retailer has enjoyed the trust of the outdoor community, who know we can be relied upon to propel our industry forward. In that spirit, we announce that Denver, Colorado has been selected as Outdoor Retailer’s new home for all shows, including Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, which will move to November in 2018.

The shows will stage at the Denver Convention Center beginning in January with the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, January 25-28, 2018. Outdoor Retailer Summer Market will be July 23-26, 2018 and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market will be November 8-11, 2018. We will announce future dates shortly, once contracts are finalized for both Outdoor Retailer as well as for the co-location of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Connect.

It’s a testament to the strength of our community that so many incredible cities would compete for our business. It was an exhaustive process but the commitment of everyone involved enabled us to accomplish all of it in less than six months. Denver was our industry’s undeniable choice.

We look forward to building a future together with Denver and thank Governor Hickenlooper, Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, and Mayor Hancock for their gracious support. While we now turn to the future I must say that the support of the Salt Lake City community was essential in helping Outdoor Retailer grow and thrive over the past 22 years. We love Utah and the Salt Lake City community. Though the show may be departing, we will continue to support and visit Utah’s public lands, communities, retailers and brands.

Denver was selected not only because it met the logistical criteria to host a successful show (we expect to bring more than 85,000 attendees annually, across three shows), but also because the state of Colorado shares the industry’s passion for outdoor recreation and preserving public lands.

I encourage those of you joining us at Summer Market to come by The Camp (Booth 38088) on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., for a live Q&A session. I'll be sitting down with Amy Roberts, OIA’s Executive Director and Rich Hill, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance President to talk about all things Denver and about the future of our show. Stick around for a happy hour afterward; we'd love to meet you.

"Denver is a wonderful choice for hosting a co-located Outdoor Retailer and Grassroots Connect," says Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. "These combined events in Denver will deliver the most effective and efficient nine days of our specialty-retail buying cycle. We look forward to continue working closely with Outdoor Retailer and OIA to achieve this and other shared industry goals.”

Thank you for your continued support through this complex process. We are excited about the move and look forward to our next 35 years."

Marisa Nicholson

Show Director of Outdoor Retailer

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