Outdoor Retailer convention faces growing pressure to leave Utah over politicians’ anti-public lands agenda

Jan 12, 2017

By Center for Western Priorities

As more than 20,000 people descend on Salt Lake City for this week’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, convention organizers are under increasing pressure to move the convention out of Utah.

Peter Metcalf, the co-founder of Black Diamond Equipment, penned a blistering op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune calling on the trade show to “leave the state in disgust” over the “all-out assault” on Utah’s public lands that’s being waged by the state’s political leaders.

Black Diamond was one of the pioneers in building Utah’s outdoor recreation economy when it arrived in 1991, setting a foundation that’s grown into an industry that employs more than 120,000 people and generates $12 billion in economic activity in the state.

Now Metcalf has had enough of the anti-public lands agenda of Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Congressman Rob Bishop, and the rest of Utah’s congressional delegation. He calls their efforts “an existential threat” to the outdoor industry, and says that by keeping the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah, the industry is “complicit collaborators in our own demise.”