Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the outdoor specialty retail buying group, officially announced the withdrawal of its four-day Connect trade show from a proposed location in Sandy, Utah for Summer 2018. Grassroots said its decision stems from broad membership opposition to Utah’s ongoing efforts to reduce and reclaim public lands for local development, as well as the state’s dismissal of the economic value of outdoor recreation on those public lands.
Instead of Sandy, Utah, the June 2018 Grassroots Connect show will “co-locate” with Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at their new venue as determined in their current search process, pending alignment of dates.
Other upcoming events for Grassroots Outdoor Alliance will be held as planned, including Summit & Connect in Albuquerque, N.M. (June 12-16, 2017); and Connect in Knoxville, Tenn. (November 7-10, 2017).
“It’s unlikely that there’s a bigger issue out there for Grassroots members and partners than preservation and access to public lands. The outdoor community spends millions of dollars collectively each year to create and protect open spaces for outdoor recreation, and the aggressive stance of Utah’s elected officials on this front has our membership pretty fired up,” said Rich Hill, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance President.
“Grassroots is working closely with Outdoor Retailer and Outdoor Industry Association on their change-of-venue process. They’ve been strong partners, and have been great about communication and collaboration since their venue search began,” said Devaki Murch, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Event Manager. “They’re listening to the needs of specialty retail and engaging the Grassroots team in key decisions – which is essential as we move toward an industry calendar that’s both efficient and beneficial for the entire outdoor industry.”
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