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Utah Business

After a few years in Denver, Outdoor Retailer just announced their intent to return to Salt Lake City.

Outdoor Retailer is coming back to Salt Lake

Salt Lake City—Outdoor Retailer announced today that the largest gathering of the outdoor industry in North America will be returning to the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. For the next three years, from 2023 through 2025, Outdoor Retailer will bring the community together for annual winter events in January and summer shows in June.

“I’m thrilled Outdoor Retailer is returning to Salt Lake County. They will again be an economic anchor for our county and bring increased revenue and job growth,” says Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “I agree with those seeking to protect Utah’s precious natural resources and in the five years since Outdoor Retailer left, Salt Lake County has led in environmental protection and conservation. We welcome Outdoor Retailer’s return and its partnership to benefit our broader community.”

For more than 20 years, Salt Lake played host to Outdoor Retailer. What started with 5,000 delegates and 100,000 square feet of exhibits quickly became Salt Lake’s largest trade show, with more than 29,000 attendees and more than a million square feet of exhibit space, utilizing the entire Salt Palace and additional outdoor pavilions.

During its tenure in Salt Lake, Outdoor Retailer summer and winter events generated more than $565 million in direct delegate spending, accounting for more than $52 million in city, county, and state taxes, and providing $1,238 in tax relief to each Salt Lake County household on an annual basis.
“We welcome back our friends with Outdoor Retailer and recognize their importance to Salt Lake City. We have made great improvements including the $4.2 billion airport and the new TRAX light rail airport station – connecting visitors with more than 200 restaurants and bars, a thriving arts scene, and our vibrant downtown atmosphere,” says Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

“The biannual Outdoor Retailer events are not only a much-appreciated economic boon for our community, but a great reflection on what makes our region, and the rest of the state, truly unique. We share the same enthusiasm, appreciation, and reverence for these great natural assets as the companies that make their way to our city to participate in Outdoor Retailer, and we welcome them back with open arms. We’re doing so much more than welcoming back a convention, we’re uniting our momentum to make change.”

The ethos of Outdoor Retailer matches well with Salt Lake, where the connection is deeper than dollars. The show’s attendees recognize Salt Lake to be one of the best outdoor recreation communities in the world. Access to year-round outdoor recreation and public lands and world-class ski resorts is the top contributor to the quality of life in Salt Lake.

The outdoor industry has strongly stated its desire to be back in Salt Lake because of its close proximity to both the new SLC International Airport and world-renowned outdoor playground. Salt Lake anticipates more than 1,000 new hotel rooms coming online this fall, including the 700-room Hyatt Regency Salt Lake convention center hotel, and the new Element and Le Meridian hotels directly adjacent to the Salt Palace. Elevated dining, bars, nightlife, and a plethora of arts and entertainment events will greet delegates upon their return.

Visit Salt Lake and Outdoor Retailer are partnering to begin the significant work required to effect meaningful change and dedicate resources to making progress. Among the future programs will be the formation of a “Business with Purpose” initiative to bring city, county, state, and federal officials, public lands and outdoor recreation leaders, and industry stakeholders together for biannual meetings focused on addressing challenges, influencing policy, assisting advocacy efforts, and directing resources into protecting natural and cultural spaces and improving access. The partners will further provide increased opportunities for the industry, local communities, and media to participate in panel discussions, educational activities, and volunteer projects.

“Salt Lake is the perfect place to host Outdoor Retailer. Home to many brands, exhibitors, and trade show suppliers, we boast unparalleled access to our outdoor testing grounds, a walkable downtown, a new airport, convention hotel and world-class hotels, brewpubs, bars, and cafes,” says Kaitlin Eskelson, President & CEO of Visit Salt Lake. “We heartily welcome them back to Utah’s great urban basecamp where the distance to demo days is measured in minutes and you can enjoy astounding four-season outdoor adventure.”

Because Utah offers the perfect research and development proving ground for outdoor products, the outdoor industry has become an important job growth sector in Utah, as businesses locate here, creating and providing jobs throughout the state. The dozens of outdoor adventure companies that call Utah home include Black Diamond, Kuhl, Goal Zero, Rossignol/Dynastar, Scott Sport, Petzl, Backcountry, Cotopaxi, and many more.