Denver has been making massive strides in becoming not only the premier destination for America’s outdoor enthusiasts, but also the site of the best and the biggest outdoor expositions in the country. The city had already played host to some of the largest events in the outdoor industry, including the SIA snow show which moved here in 2011 and the Ski & Snowboard Expo. However, with Denver winning the bid over many other competing cities to host Outdoor Retailer, it has doubtless become the king of outdoor expos and the epicenter for the outdoor recreation industry.
OR’s calculated move came from a political difference with its host state of Utah. The state’s leaders were dictating that their national monuments be shrunk to privatize the resources located on these public lands. Most notably, their lawmakers wanted to reduce the size of the beloved, 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument for cited reasons including farming, ranching, and drilling for oil.
Denver and its citizens will have to keep these reasons for winning the relocation of such a huge event in perspective as the city, and the newly acquired expos, continue growing and garnering large profits. In other words, It will be important to ensure the city’s sustainability ethos doesn’t become sidelined by the new and increasing revenue streams.
And as if there were any doubt behind why Outdoor Retailer ultimately made its move to Colorado, their website states bluntly that “Denver was selected not only because it met the logistical criteria to host a successful show (we expect to bring more than 85,000 attendees annually, across three shows), but also because the state of Colorado shares the industry’s passion for outdoor recreation and preserving public lands.”
Nonetheless, the move should bring great economic prosperity and an even greater influx of outdoor industry to the state of Colorado. The three shows that come with the Outdoor Retailer brand are expected to bring in a combined $100 million per year according to the Denver Post. Plus, local companies and attendees will no longer have to leave the state to attend or exhibit at these incredible expos, making the events much more accessible to Colorado residents and business owners.
The outdoor recreation industry already contributes $28 billion to the state’s economy thanks to an abundance of wilderness and 24 million acres of public lands according to Pete Maysmith, Executive Director of Conservation Colorado, who spoke in a recent Westword Article. That number is all but guaranteed to increase over the coming 5 years – the duration that OR is contracted to host its shows here in Denver.
Emerald Expositions, the publicly traded company that owns both Outdoor Retailer and the SIA Snow Show, will be combining its two main events to create the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show. This new show debuts January 25th of 2018. The Outdoor Retailer Summer Market will begin on July 23rd of 2018, and the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market will start on November 8. Businesses in the outdoor recreation industry in Colorado (i.e. Spyder, Topo Designs, Phunkshun Wear, etc.) will have unprecedented opportunities to get their businesses in front of other major members of the outdoor recreation industry around the globe.
If you own an outdoor recreation company and are planning to exhibit at any of these blockbuster shows, we recommend getting a solid exhibitor booth planned with all the fixings that’ll help your brand stand out among some of the big boys (think GoPro, Yeti, and Sperry). At our last visit to the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, companies were raising the bar with booths that included VR experiences and product giveaways (like free GoPro cameras or Yetti coolers).
The acquisition of such a fun and exciting event will do nothing but continue to elevate Colorado as a leader in outdoor events and recreation, allowing for its great citizens and businesses to continue to grow their appreciation for a state with so much to offer!