Utah works to keep outdoor trade show
The Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association sponsors the Outdoor Retailer trade shows. Outdoor Retailer is owned by Nielsen Expositions, a trade-show logistics company in New York. Nielsen will make any final decision on where the trade show will be based in the future with input from the Outdoor Industry Association and other partners.
The Outdoor Retailer trade show's current contract in Salt Lake City expires in 2014. Frank Hugelmeyer, executive director of the trade group, met with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert in August to discuss the state's land-use policies. In response, Herbert moved to create the new recreation plan, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
"It's Salt Lake's to lose," Hugelmeyer said Monday. "I'm not surprised that they're working hard to keep the show. The proof is in the pudding whether or not they can keep pace with the growth of the show."
The Outdoor Retailer show has overflowed the Salt Palace convention center's 515,000 square feet to an outdoor tent on a parking lot next door. Herbert has said the new recreation plan will be complete before the 2013 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market convention slated for Jan. 22-26.
Denver representatives have made a pitch to host the show in the future at the Colorado Convention Center. Denver's convention center is virtually the same size as Salt Lake's, Hugelmeyer said. He said trade show discussions are more "logistics-based," and that he is working on "both fronts" of Colorado and Utah at the moment to figure out how to proceed.
"It's a lot easier to keep something than to get it back," Hugelmeyer said. "In these economic times, growth is good. Can they keep pace with the industry and the show?"
At the same time, the Outdoor Industry Association is talking to economic development officials in Colorado, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington about creating new economic strategies to promote the outdoor industry, Hugelmeyer said.
In Colorado, as in many states, such economic strategies are folded into a broader "tourism" label, Hugelmeyer said.
"Hopefully one of those states will start to not only develop a fully comprehensive economic strategy, but a comprehensive recreation infrastructure strategy," Hugelmeyer said. "Those two will really start to help to move the industry and help those states."
More breaking news...
Dean Foods completes WhiteWave spinoff
Simon Smith will serve as executive vice
Summit to explore impact of sequestration
Broomfield-based WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE: WWAV) shareholders own 80 percent of the company. Dallas-based Dean Foods Co.
Federal budget cuts known as