Paddlesports Retailer, which is currently taking place in Madison, Wisc., announced that it will move to Oklahoma City in 2018. Next year’s edition of Paddlesports Retailer will take place August 28-30 at Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center with the on-water demo on August 27 at the city’s Boathouse District.
According to show manager Marcus Shoffner, there were two primary reasons for the move. For starters, the show has already outgrown its Madison location. “We were overwhelmed by the response from both retailers and vendors at our inaugural show,” he said. Oklahoma City provides room to expand with a new 300,000 square foot convention center slated to open in 2020.
Secondly, “Oklahoma City offers the country’s premier paddlesports venue which will be the centerpiece of our event,” said Shoffner.
During the last 10 years, Oklahoma City has invested more than $100 million in the Oklahoma City Boathouse District, the official U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Training Site for paddlesports, which includes a world-championship caliber sprint kayak and rowing course, a $45 million Olympic whitewater river and slalom course, and a high-performance training center for elite paddlesports athletes from around the world. Show participants will be able to canoe, kayak, raft and paddleboard down Class II-IV rapids while testing all the latest flatwater boats on the USOC sprint kayak course. The Boathouse also is walking distance to the Bricktown downtown district, the convention center and adjacent hotels.
“We are thrilled to welcome Paddlesports Retailer to Oklahoma City,” said Sue Hollenbeck, director of sports business at the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our community lives and breathes paddlesports and I think attendees will be blown away by what we have to offer.”
“This is an exciting next step for Paddlesports Retailer,” said Bill Kueper, Vice President of Wenonah Canoe and Chairman of the Paddlesports Trade Coalition. “In its first year, the show brought together more than 150 exhibiting paddlesports brands and almost 300 unique retailers. Oklahoma City offers an unprecedented venue for a gathering of this magnitude that will only continue to grow in years to come. The city is truly a paddler’s dream that will elevate the entire show experience for the industry.”
“We would like to thank Madison for being a gracious host to us this year,” said Shoffner. “Madison will always be an iconic paddlesports destination that we will all be visiting again soon.”