This Just In

Outdoor Retailer Commits to Denver


Denver — Emerald Expositions LLC made it official in July by formally announcing it would bring Outdoor Retailer to Denver under a five-year agreement beginning in 2018.

The deal involves the Outdoor Retailer Summer and Winter Markets as well as Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, a ski-industry exhibition created through Emerald’s acquisition of the SIA Snow Show earlier this year.

The new schedule means that 2018 and beyond will see some busy times in downtown Denver and at the Colorado Convention Center:

  • SIA Industry + Intelligence Day — Jan. 24
  • Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show — Jan. 25-28
  • SIA On-Snow Demo at (Copper Mountain) — Jan. 29-30
  • Outdoor Retailer Summer Market — July 23-26
  • Outdoor Retailer Winter Market — Nov. 8-11

Another related show, Grassroots Connect, will move to Denver as well once suitable venue space is nailed down, Emerald said in its announcement.

The anticipated move of Outdoor Retailer to Denver wrapped up a complex process involving multiple organizations and an unexpected split from Salt Lake City, the show’s venue for the past 21 years. “Bringing these organizations together and basing the show in a state that places such a high value on outdoor recreation is the best move we could have made for the outdoor industry,” Show Director Marisa Nicholson said.

Outdoor Retailer’s tenure in Salt Lake City ended abruptly over the state of Utah’s opposition to a new national monument declared by President Obama. Emerald’s partner in the show, the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), said in February that it would seek a new host city. Denver was considered the favorite to land Outdoor Retailer from the beginning of the process. “We received submissions from truly incredible outdoor cities — a testament to the strength of the outdoor community,” said Nicholson. “Denver is the undeniable industry choice.”

The trade show infrastructures of Salt Lake City and Denver are relatively comparable, although the OIA said in a FAQ document on its website that Denver offered more contiguous exhibit space and a larger hotel inventory.

The Colorado Convention Center in Denver is ranked 25th on the Trade Show Executive World’s Top Convention Centers (WTCC) with 584,000 square feet of prime exhibit space, and is being expanded by another 170,000 sf of flex space over the next two years. The Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City is No. 29 on the WTCC with 515,000 sf of prime space. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has jurisdiction at both venues with exhibitors allowed to do much of their own set-up work on the show floor.

The semi-annual Outdoor Retailer has been a consistent member of the TSE Gold 100 rankings. The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market held in 2015 was the 42nd-largest show of the year with 418,309 net square feet of exhibit space and 21,258 attendees. The Summer edition was No. 29 with 551,885 nsf and 29,238 attendees.

Reach Marisa Nicholson at (949) 226-5700 or

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