Denver will be the new home for the country's largest outdoor recreation trade show starting in January. Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock confirmed the news Thursday.
Political differences over public lands between the outdoor recreation industry, including Patagonia, and Utah political leaders prompted the move from Salt Lake City, its home for the past 20 years.
"We chose Denver because this is where the industry wants to be and believe that this is the best place to begin this new era of a unified outdoor community," said the director of the Outdoor Retailer trade show, Marisa Nicholson.
The show made the final decision to leave Utah after Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution called on federal officials to rescind monument status for Bears Ears National Monument.
The organization's biannual events attracted an estimated $45 million in annual direct spending to Utah. Officials say Colorado is expected to see $110 million in direct and indirect spending from the retailer show, coupled with the winter snow show. Roughly 85,000 people are expected to attend both events.
Outdoor Industry Association Executive Director Amy Roberts told Colorado Matters earlier this year that the dispute dates back even further than 2017.
"It's really an issue that's been building over a period of years," she said. "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.”
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