Reports: Outdoor Retailer Trade Show Coming To Denver, Leaving Utah

Updated 8:30 p.m. -- Colorado’s Recreation Industry Office, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Gov. John Hickenlooper and others plan to make a “major announcement” Thursday. The Denver Post and Colorado Politics both report that the city will become the new host and of the Outdoor Retailer trade show, a twice-a-year event that will bring millions into the state.

The extremely lucrative trade show was based in Utah. But outdoor industry companies like Patagonia and others tried unsuccessfully to get Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to stop his support for calls to rescind the National Monument status of recently designated Bears Ears National Monument. Herbert defended his position, as we reported in February, and the retailers began pulling out:

“My job is to reflect the desires and the will of the people of Utah,” said Herbert at a news conference. “That’s how we develop policy. And we’ll continue to do that and reflecting what the people of Utah want to have done.”

Outdoor Industry Association Executive Director Amy Roberts told Colorado Matters that the dispute dates back even further than 2017: "It's really an issue that's been building over a period of years... I would say really over the last 10, we've had concerns with Utah political leadership and the decisions made around public lands in the state.”

The Post reports that the inked deal will mean the Outdoor Retailer show takes place at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center and the National Western Complex for the next five years. The first Colorado event will happen in January 2018.