Gov. Cox on Outdoor Retailer: “We did not miss them”

SALT LAKE CITY — Following calls by outdoor recreation companies like Patagonia, REI, and The North Face saying they would boycott the Outdoor Retailer trade show if it moved back to Salt Lake City from Denver, Utah Governor Spencer Cox said during his monthly press conference on Thursday that “they’re hurting their own cause.”

The companies’ stance is because of the lawsuits challenging President Joe Biden’s executive order restoring the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument.

President Donald Trump in February 2017 was asked by Utah lawmakers to repeal the newly-established monument, and immediately after thirty companies that are part of the show objected.

Outdoor Retailer then moved to Denver in 2018, and its contract there expires this year.

“Our position on the location of the Outdoor Retailer trade show remains clear and unchanged: The show belongs in a state whose top officials value and seek to protect public lands,” Patagonia’s CEO Ryan Gellert has said.

The Conservation Alliance, comprised of more than 270 companies, said in a news release that Emerald X, the publicly traded company that owns Outdoor Retailer, is considering moving the show despite widespread industry objections.

“The truth is they threatened to leave and we didn’t miss them,” Cox said Thursday.

“We did not miss them at all. I think it would be great to have them come back and they’re hurting their own cause. I think that’s what they don’t realize is they gave up their seat at the table… Come back and have the conversation. We would love to have you… It would be amazing. Or don’t. Whatever. It’s fine.”

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