Well, that didn’t go well. A meeting between Outdoor Retailer officials and Utah Governor Gary Herbert to try and find common ground on environmental issues within the state reportedly went south and OR will no longer include Salt Lake City in its bids for relocation. That means the massive tradeshow will be in a different state after 2018 and take its 25-50 million in revenue with it. The meeting was a teleconference that also included representatives from Patagonia, The North Face and REI.
“We are doing the work necessary to procure an alternative location for Outdoor Retailer,” said Marisa Nicholson, show director for Outdoor Retailer in a press release. “We expect that our current proposal process, which we initiated before any of the company withdrawal announcements last week, will take between 60 and 90 days. Salt Lake City has been hospitable to Outdoor Retailer and our industry for the past 20 years, but we are in lockstep with the outdoor community and are working on finding our new home.”
Emerald Expositions also said that it will not include Utah in its search for a new location for the Interbike Tradeshow, which is in Las Vegas right now.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, OR asked for these specifics:
-End legal efforts or support for congressional action that would facilitate the sale or transfer of federal lands to the states.
– End efforts to nullify the Antiquities Act.
-Stop seeking to reverse the designation of Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Herbert signed a resolution from the Utah Legislature asking President Donald Trump to rescind the monument designation.
– Support other public lands “that provide the backbone of the industries sales,” OIA wrote.
Herbert’s response was curious, calling the decision “offensive,” and one that “reflects a gross ingratitude.”
Salt Lake City council members decried the response. And new host cities are making moves to try and lure the show. Colorado Conservation placed a light-hearted ad in the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News in support of the move: “We have stronger beer. We have taller peaks. We have higher recreation,” reads the ad’s text. “But most of all, we love our public lands. … We have honored and fought for our public lands by defeating land seizure bills and embracing new national monuments. … Colorado knows protecting public lands is just good business.”