The Outdoor Retailer Show is held twice a year in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Inside the massive convention center one can rub elbows with wholesale buyers, gear & apparel manufacturers, fabric vendors, stinky rock climbers and unemployed warranty managers as they get together to conduct business, exchange business cards, swap lies and tout the next big thing.
With any luck, this will soon end. .
Not the show of course, but the location.
Twice a year, healthy, tanned folk who look like escaped models from an LL Bean catalog (but with more gray hair) overrun staid Salt Lake City.
The convention parking lots are filled with green Subaru Outbacks bedecked with Thule racks, the 3.2% brew pubs are filled to capacity and hoards of sleazy sales reps openly salivate at the notion of sucking all the ‘open to buy’ dollars out of the visiting buyers.
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But it’s a party that may soon end, at least in Salt Lake City.
It seems that the State of Utah has cut a smarmy backroom deal that has many in the outdoor community fuming. The Outdoor Community just might take their show and go elsewhere, leaving Utah $24 million poorer.
Utah Governor Gov. Mike Leavitt’s recently made a backroom deal with Interior Secretary Gale Norton to release nearly 6 million acres of federal land in Utah from temporary wilderness protection.
After seven years of a very healthy tradeshow for Salt Lake City, the government in the Beehive State have just kicked over a hornet’s nest which now has plenty people buzzing.