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, said event organizers. 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.
“We’ve been listening to the concerns from the industry and agree that it’s time to explore our options,” says Marisa Nicholson, show director for Outdoor Retailer. “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.”
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
“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,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of the OIA. “We will continue to educate policymakers on the economic contribution of our industry as well as our support of preserving places to recreate.”
Also today, Patagonia announced it will be pulling out of the OR shows in response to the Utah Governor’s decision to rescind Bear Ears protection.
“Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution on Friday urging the Trump administration to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument, making it clear that he and other Utah elected officials do not support public lands conservation nor do they value the economic benefits – $12 billion in consumer spending and 122,000 jobs – that the outdoor recreation industry brings to their state,” said Rose Marcario, President and CEO, Patagonia, Inc. in an announcement. “Because of the hostile environment they have created and their blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah and we are confident other outdoor manufacturers and retailers will join us in moving our investment to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation.“
Last month, Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard penned an op-ed, The Outdoor Industry Loves Utah; Does Utah Love the Outdoor Industry? in which he stated, “If Gov. Herbert doesn’t need us, we can find a more welcoming home. Gov. Herbert should direct his Attorney General to halt their plans to sue and support the historic Bears Ears National Monument. He should stop his efforts to transfer public lands to the state, which would spell disaster for Utah’s economy. He should show the outdoor industry he wants our business – and that he supports thousands of his constituents of all political persuasions who work in jobs supported by recreation on public lands. We love Utah, but Patagonia’s choice to return for future shows will depend on the Governor’s actions. I’m sure other states will happily compete for the show by promoting public lands conservation.”
Read the full piece HERE.