DENVER – The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office and Governor John Hickenlooper are expected to announce on Thursday that a successful bid has been made for the world’s largest outdoor recreation retailer show in Denver.
The Denver Post, citing anonymous sources, is reporting the city of Denver has reached a five-year deal for the biannual Outdoor Retailer Show to call the state capitol home starting in 2018, but officials connected to the show won’t comment.
The Outdoor Retailer Show had been held in Salt Lake City, Utah, for more than 20 years until it announced in February that the show would be seeking a new home because of a conflict of values with the Utah lawmakers, including Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, over the protection of public lands.
In particular, efforts by Utah to rescind the designation of Bears Ears National Monument, gut the 1906 Antiquities Act and return federal public lands to state control riled outdoor advocates and companies.
The decision to move the show from Utah is seen as a powerful statement by the outdoor recreation industry as it essentially amounts to telling lawmakers “shape up or we will ship out.”
For Colorado, which has been campaigning for the show since conversations between Herbert and the Outdoor Industry broke down earlier this year, securing a deal would be a substantial win. The retailer show draws tens of thousands of visitors and contributes more than $45 million annually to the Utah economy.
The announcement is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the City Park Rose Garden in Denver.