Outdoor Retailer has pulled the plug on Salt Lake City. Led by brands like Patagonia, The North Face, and Arc’teryx who are upset with the State of Utah’s attack of public lands, the bi-annual show will leave a $45 million dollar hole in the local economy.
The bi-annual Outdoor Retailer show is the definitive gathering of outdoor oriented brands doing business in North America. Representatives of both Kootenay Mountain Culture and Coast Mountain Culture magazines have been attending the show for the past few years as it is a great opportunity to reconnect with our many clients, meet with writers and photographers, introduce ourselves to businesses we don’t have a relationship with, and of course, check out all the new gear.
For the past two decades the show has been held in Salt Lake City, Utah, an easy-to-get-to location, surrounded by great mountain biking and skiing. For all intents and purposes, the perfect location. In that time it has become North America’s most important gathering of the outdoor industry’s leaders and grassroots brands, innovators and critical retailer supporters throughout Canada and the United States.
But some of the key brands at the show, such as the Outdoor Industries Association (which runs the event), REI, the North Face, Patagonia and Arcteryx, have been lobbying the State of Utah over the last decade to stop their selling and attacking of public lands. It seems now, the brands leading that fight have determined that the current course of the Utah government is one that does not align with a healthy, environmentally conscience outdoor industry. Hence the collective decision to look for a new home. Having the show move away from SLC will take an estimated $45 million out of the local economy. To read a comprehensive story about why key brands finally decided to pull out of a Utah-based Outdoor Retailer, read this piece in the Adventure Journal.
“We entirely support the the protest of the brands that are leading this charge against the State of Utah and its decisions to sell off public lands and environments treasured by citizens throughout the US and Canada,” say KMC/CMC publishers Mitchell Scott and Peter Moynes. “Never before in our lifetimes has it been more implicit upon all of us in the outdoor and tourism industries to hold governments, our sector, and ourselves accountable for decisions made today. We are well aware they will have long-lasting impacts on our future.”