Salt Lake City could lose Outdoor Retailer in fall 2018


Emerald Expositions seeking proposals for Outdoor Retailer shows in late 2018 and beyond.

Amy Roberts, Rich Hill, Marisa Nicholson

From left: Amy Roberts, Rich Hill, and Marisa Nicholson. // Photo by Caveman Collective

Outdoor Retailer has announced that its contract with the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City is up next year, and that it will solicit proposals for a new venue for November 2018 and beyond.

Utah’s poor record on public lands was a significant factor in searching for a new city to play host to the more than 30,000 people who flock to the trade show twice each year, according to Outdoor Retailer, the Outdoor Industry Association, and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.

“The ultimate hope is that there’s a policy change in Utah,” said Rich Hill, president of GOA, which plans to co-locate with Outdoor Retailer for the first time in 2018.

There are other factors at play, too, said Darrell Denny, executive VP for Emerald Expositions’ sports group, but he did not elaborate. This was not spurred by Colorado’s recent attempts to make itself more attractive to Outdoor Retailer, he said. But some outdoor industry brands that exhibit at OR have begun to criticize Utah for not supporting outdoor recreation through its policies. Patagonia has threatened to make this year’s Summer Market its last OR show in Utah.

“There’s no doubt that we have concerns and that our members have concerns about public policy decisions coming out of Utah,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA. “We want to be in a place that recognizes economic contribution of our industry.”

Utah Republicans have sought to sell off public lands and are fighting to reverse former President Barack Obama’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument. They’ve also sought to reduce the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Last week, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz promised to drop a bill he introduced to sell “excess” public lands, citing public outcry from the sportsman community. At the time, OIA said it was not sure that Chaffetz’s move signaled a more favorable view of public lands in the state of Utah, and that it expected to continue defending outdoor recreation.

Emerald Expositions, Outdoor Retailer’s parent company, said it could not release a list of cities that are potential candidates to host the show. Salt Lake City has not been ruled out entirely, however.

“Our responsibilities as producers of the Outdoor Retailer shows require us to consider all aspects of any city and state that may serve as host to the thousands of brands, retailers, media and others who make up the entire outdoor community,” Denny said in a press release issued by Outdoor Retailer Monday afternoon. “Those criteria include facilities, hotels, transportation, labor costs, environmental policies and the degree to which host states are in sync with outdoor industry values. This decision allows us to explore new venues while taking all of these factors into account. That said, Salt Lake City has been a welcoming and beneficial host to Outdoor Retailer for many years and will be among candidates to continue to be the host city.”



Outdoor Retailer to stay in Salt Lake City through 2018 with new dates

Outdoor Retailer is staying in Salt Lake City through 2018, albeit with some date changes. Show and city officials announced the decision Monday that will keep Summer and Winter Market where it has been for the past 19 years. As previously announced, Winter Market 2016 moves up more

Bears Ears National Monument

Outdoor Retailer will not be in Utah after summer 2018

After a call with Governor Gary Herbert, Outdoor Retailer announced that it would not include Utah in its request for proposals for new venues for the show. In spite of a growing campaign to persuade Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to work with the outdoor industry on public lands more

Reno, Nevada

Could Outdoor Retailer return to Reno?

Long before Salt Lake City lost Outdoor Retailer, Reno lost it first. The Nevada city wants the show back, badly. Nearly 20 years ago, Reno, Nevada, wanted desperately to win back the world’s biggest trade show for the booming “$4.4 billion outdoor industry.” The city had more

Outdoor Retailer to go to New York City

It can be hard to pull city folk out of urban life, even for a day outside. So this year, Outdoor Retailer is bringing the brands – and the outdoors – to New York City for two days, to meet consumer media right where they are. June 8 and 9, Outdoor Retailer will host Get more

salt lake service industry outdoor retailer

Salt Lake service workers are "frustrated, worried, and sad" at Outdoor Retailer's imminent departure

We hit the streets of Salt Lake to see how the working citizens around the palace feel about losing Outdoor Retailer after just three more shows. With Outdoor Retailer leaving Utah, Salt Lake service workers aren’t sure what to feel. They’re irritated with Governor Herbert’s more

Denver wants Outdoor Retailer

Colorado businesses take out Denver Post ad to attract Outdoor Retailer

Dozens of Colorado-based businesses explain why their state is unparalleled in its commitment to public lands. Colorado has no interest in being shy about its pursuit of Outdoor Retailer. In a full-page advertisement in the Denver Post on Sunday, dozens of Colorado-based gear more and the O.R. Daily Partner To Bring Outdoor Retailer the Insider’s Guide to Skiing Salt Lake City

Chattanooga, Tenn. (January 8, 2015) –, the online and mobile resource for “where to go outdoors,” will serve as a content partner at the 2015 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah. O.R. Daily, powered by SNEWS, and RootsRated have more

Outdoor Retailer move poll

Three more brands pull out of Outdoor Retailer

Three brands announced Thursday that they would boycott Outdoor Retailer in Utah to show support for public lands. Arc’teryx will pull out of Outdoor Retailer this summer and reallocate its OR budget to donate to the Conservation Alliance’s Public Lands Defense Fund, the brand more

Utah State Capitol

Join the march for public lands at Outdoor Retailer

In response to outdoor industry concerns about public lands issues in Utah, The Conservation Alliance, Outdoor Alliance, Outdoor Industry Association, and Outdoor Retailer will hold a march during the trade show. Outdoor Retailer, The Conservation Alliance, Outdoor Industry more