SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – One of the world’s largest outdoor gear trade shows will remain in Salt Lake City through at least 2016.
Outdoor Retailer, which kicks off its winter expo Wednesday, draws more than 25,000 people to each bi-annual show and pours an estimated $40 million into Utah’s economy every year.
Nielsen Expositions, which runs the lucrative shows, announced the decision Tuesday at a ski resort east of Salt Lake City. The shows have been in Utah since 1996 and previously were contracted to stay through 2014.
Organizers had considered moving the convention to other cities such as Denver or Las Vegas. With record numbers of attendees and exhibitors, organizers said they need more convention space and hotel rooms.
Two weeks ago, the state approved a $2.66 million grant to build a 150,000-square-foot exhibition tent near the city’s convention center to add space for the show, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The 4,000-member-strong Outdoor Industry Association, which sponsors the expo, also threatened to take its business elsewhere if the state didn’t change course on environmental issues. At issue is a bill signed by Gov. Gary Herbert in March that demands the federal government relinquish control of public lands in Utah by 2014. The association also opposes Utah’s effort to open thousands of dirt paths across public lands to motor vehicles.
In August, the group asked Herbert, an advocate for energy extraction, to signal his commitment to the outdoor industry by January.
Herbert is set to unveil his vision for outdoor recreation Wednesday.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, who joined Nielsen at the Tuesday announcement, said the news is “tremendous” for the Salt Lake area and the state.
The expo also showcases the outdoor opportunities Salt Lake City offers with its proximity to several world-renowned ski resorts and wilderness areas, McAdams said.
“We are synonymous with world-class outdoor recreation, and that’s why we’re a great fit for this convention,” McAdams told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
McAdams said the new exhibition tent was one of a several factors that went into the pitch to persuade the organization to keep the show in Utah.
Kenji Haroutunian, the Nielsen Expositions executive in charge of the shows, said the company is grateful the show will remain in Salt Lake City for the next three years.
“The industry has a collective affection for this town,” he said in a statement.
Beyond 2016, the organization is still exploring whether the event will move to another location, Haroutunian said.
“We understand everyone is anxious for a longer-term decision, but making sure the show has a home that fits the needs of the industry is hugely important,” he said. “The extension period will help us make sure we get it right.”
Utah’s governor called the announcement great news for the state’s economy and evidence that Utah is an outdoors destination.
“It’s part of our community and we are earnest in our desire to keep the show in Utah beyond 2016, even permanently,” Herbert said in a statement.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon