Patagonia, REI to boycott SLC Outdoor Retailer

SALT LAKE CITY — Visit Salt Lake, Salt Lake County’s tourism department, announced on Wednesday that Outdoor Retailer, the outdoor industry trade show is returning to Salt Lake City for at least the next three years.

“We’re heading back to Salt Lake City and County to the place we grew up and where our industry matured into the dynamic and powerful community it is today,” Outdoor Retailer executives wrote in a letter Wednesday. “As we plan for the coming years back in Salt Lake City and (Salt Lake County), we move forward with the same optimism and values that have always guided our industry, and we’re ready to work with you to explore endless opportunities to help our industry grow.”

Outdoor Retailer left Salt Lake for Denver in 2017, after President Donald Trump in February 2017 was asked by Utah lawmakers to repeal the newly-established Bears Ears National Monument, and immediately after thirty companies that are part of the show objected.

“We have a strong relationship with Salt Lake City and a committed partner in Mayor Erin Mendenhall, whose values align with ours following tremendous investments in clean energy and a strong commitment to public lands,” the letter says. “This proved to be a real turning point in our recent negotiations.”

An environmental conservation group and two dozen outdoor recreation companies, including Patagonia, REI, and The North Face, in February said they would boycott Outdoor Retailer if it moved back to Salt Lake City.

Jeff Davis, the group vice president for Emerald X, the publicly traded company that owns the show, told the AP: “We’ve talked to all the brands, and while we cannot speak for all the brands, our tent is open… We want as many participants as possible to contribute to what we believe is a positive change.”

“Marisa Nicholson, the show director for Outdoor Retailer, told the AP it’s easier for exhibitors to demonstrate their skiing, snowboarding, kayaking and other products in Utah. That’s because outdoor venues where the products can be used or tested are closer and easier to get to than in Denver, where travel to the Rockies from the downtown convention center where the show has been based can take hours.” — AP

Organizers also announced their intention to make the show more accessible to consumers, instead of solely commercial buyers and retailers.


Outdoor Retailer will hold one more event in Denver in June.

The trade show first began in 1982 and came to SLC in the 1990s. Government officials have said that the twice-yearly show produces roughly $50 million in economic growth.

You May Also Like
TownLift Is Brought To You In Part By These Presenting Partners.

Add Your Organization