New Mexico is the latest state chomping to host the Outdoor Retailer show after it pulls out of Utah in 2018.
New Mexican Senator Martin Heinrich has thrown his hat in the ring to host Outdoor Retailer when it leaves Salt Lake in 2018. He's the latest in a string of legislators looking to cash in on the estimated $45 million per year Outdoor retailer currently brings to Utah.
In a letter he wrote to the president of Emerald Expositions who owns Outdoor Retailer, he said, “As you solicit proposals for a new venue to host the Outdoor Retailer trade show, I would urge you to give strong consideration to the state of New Mexico. New Mexico’s vibrant and vast public lands are a vital part of the state’s culture and economy, and New Mexico has a tradition of stakeholders coming together to support conservation and the outdoor recreation industry.”
He goes on to cite that his Land of Enchantment has long been a champion of public lands and that the outdoor recreation economy is vital to New Mexico, supporting 68,000 jobs and resulting in $6.1 billion ins spending every year.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock is also interested in hosting, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
And Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler have also reached out to Emerald advocating for the Beaver State, citing Oregon's strong economic ties to the industry (home to Danner, Columbia, KEEN, Snow Peak, Dakine, Leatherman, Ruffwear, and Hydroflask to name just a few).
While all of these contenders hold some appeal for their connection to outdoor recreation, it may come down to pure logistics. The show is currently already pinched at the Salt Lake City Salt Palace with its 675,000 square feet of space. States with smaller venues like New Mexico, Montana, and Oregon will likely have to explore splitting the show into multiple locations. Any sort of split is not ideal forOutdoor Industry Association or Outdoor Retailer, which is the industry's only event to gather as a complete community.
In early February, Outdoor Retailer announced an RFP for its new home. The RFP process will close in in early May.