For what it’s worth, Outdoor Retailer issued the following press release on Monday, indicating that the show is serious about exploring a move away from Salt Lake City:
Outdoor Retailer, in collaboration with Outdoor Industry Association and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, will solicit proposals from venues for 2019 and beyond
Outdoor Retailer will honor its current contract and will remain in
Salt Lake City through Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – February 6, 2017 – Outdoor Retailer, in cooperation with Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, will solicit proposals for venue locations for shows and events scheduled for November 2018 and beyond.
“Outdoor Retailer has always been about ‘Right time, right place, right stuff,’” says Marisa Nicholson, show director for Outdoor Retailer. “We’ve been listening to the concerns from the industry and agree that it’s time to explore our options. Salt Lake City has been an incredible home to Outdoor Retailer and the outdoor community for the past 20 years, and we aren’t opposed to staying, but we need to do what’s best for the industry and for the business of outdoor retail.”
Outdoor Retailer will maintain its current contract in Salt Lake City through Summer 2018. The RFP will include dates and locations for Grassroots Connect and retailer specialty education days.
“Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, in partnership with OIA and Outdoor Retailer, is committed to ensuring the best possible tradeshow cycle and experience for our retailers and vendor partners. We feel the announcement today will ensure that we’ll choose the best location to host a co-located Grassroots Connect and Outdoor Retailer. Our 62 independent specialty retailers look forward to being in a location that from a business, cultural, and values standpoint, best serves our industry,” said Rich Hill, President of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.
The Outdoor Industry Association, agrees with the decision: “OIA encouraged and supports Outdoor Retailer’s decision to explore a range of host cities for the gathering of our community,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of the OIA. “The appropriate location of Outdoor Retailer should be determined by factors ranging from business economics for vendors and attendees to a location that upholds our industry’s core values around the importance of America’s public lands system. We will continue to educate policymakers on the economic contribution of our industry as well as our support of preserving places to recreate.”
Choosing a new host city requires careful consideration of factors that affect the tradeshow business, as Darrell Denny, Executive Vice President for Emerald Exposition’s Sports Group, explains: “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. 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.”