(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Attendees file in to to the Outdoor Retailer event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City last month. Some outdoor companies have left the event because of Utah’s stand on public lands and others suggest that they will follow suit.
The announcement did not specify a price for the deal, though several news reports said it was worth $16.7 million, citing a recent letter that outlines the deal and was sent to SIA’s members. A spokeswoman for Emerald Expositions, which owns Outdoor Retailer, did not respond to a request for additional details Wednesday night.
It’s not known what the deal means for the Outdoor Retailer summer show — including whether it increases the likelihood that that event also will be hosted in Denver in coming years. The SIA Snow Show was slated to stay in Denver through 2030.
But one thing is clear: Future Outdoor Retailer shows — winter or summer — are unlikely to return to Salt Lake City. This summer’s show is scheduled to be in Utah, and Outdoor Retailer is under contract to stay in Salt Lake City through 2018. But the Outdoor Retailer website states that the show is “considering all our options after Summer Market 2017” — implying that the winter and summer 2018 shows may be moved elsewhere.
Earlier this year, outdoor industry leaders voiced their displeasure with Utah politicians who were pushing to rescind the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument designations.
In February, Outdoor Retailer said it was ending its 20-year run in Salt Lake City as a consequence for opposition to the monuments, taking with it a yearly influx of 40,000 visitors and $45 million.
Gov. Gary Herbert declined to rescind his opposition to the monuments, though he made a last-ditch appeal to industry executives to stay. His spokesman previously said Outdoor Retailer’s decision to pull out was “offensive” and perpetuates a false notion that Utah is out to damage its public lands. Other state lawmakers, including House Speaker Greg Hughes, have said they don’t regret pushing for legislation calling for the monuments to be rescinded.
Officials said the acquisition was finalized after a unanimous vote from the SIA board of directors and an “overwhelming approval” by the organization’s “premium members.”
“By merging these two January shows, we will bring the outdoor and snow sports industries together under one roof, creating an optimal and authentic forum for exhibitors and retailers alike,” Marisa Nicholson, the Outdoor Retailer show director, said in a news release.