STATEMENT as more outdoor businesses leave Utah trade show in protest

Feb 10, 2017

DENVER—What began as a trickle has become a flood, as more outdoor recreation businesses announced Friday they will skip the Outdoor Retailer trade show in protest of Utah politicians’ anti-public lands agenda. The twice-yearly trade show generates about $45 million annually for Utah’s economy.

The Center for Western Priorities issued the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

“Governor Herbert is telling outdoor businesses to ‘take the politics out of this issue,’ yet he is personally lobbying President Trump to roll back national monuments in Utah and threatening a lawsuit to force the American people to dispose of nearly all their public lands in the state.

“Now Utah is finally reaping what its politicians have sown. Outdoor recreation businesses, one of the state’s most important industries, are sick and tired of being taken for granted. Americans of all stripes, from sportsmen to conservationists to business leaders aren’t going to sit idle as Gary Herbert, Jason Chaffetz, and the rest of Utah’s politicians erode America’s parks and public lands.”

Both the Outdoor Industry Association and the Outdoor Retailer have indicated that they are seriously considering moving the trade show after its contract with Salt Lake City expires in 2018.

Name brand outdoor retailers Patagonia and Arc’teryx have followed suit, announcing that they would not participate in the Outdoor Retailer for as long as it is in Utah. Other brands—including Peak Designs, Kammock, Polartec, and Power Practical—are coming forward daily with their intention to boycott Utah.