DENVER—Today, the outdoor industry’s largest trade show announced it will leave Denver at the end of its current five-year contract and relocate to Salt Lake City in January 2023. The Outdoor Retailer trade show moved from Utah in 2018 in protest of the state of Utah’s dismal record on protecting public lands, particularly its opposition to the designation of Bears Ears National Monument. Last month, 25 of the outdoor industry’s biggest brands (including Patagonia, REI, and The North Face) announced they will not attend the Outdoor Retailer trade show if it is moved from Denver to Salt Lake City, citing Utah’s poor record on protecting public lands.
In response, the Center for Western Priorities issued the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:
“It’s clear those in charge of the Outdoor Retailer trade show did not learn their lesson. Politicians in Utah have continued to wage war on public lands conservation and their harmful efforts show no signs of slowing down.
“Not only is Utah’s governor preparing to launch a taxpayer-funded lawsuit to strip protections from Bears Ears National Monument, today Utah Senator Mike Lee asked Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson about the possibility of gutting the law which gives presidents the authority to designate national monuments.
“Outdoor recreation is booming in the West, fueling local economies and driving calls to protect more public lands. Leaders in the outdoor industry should recognize their growing power and not reward the bad behavior of extreme anti-conservation politicians.”
- Outdoor Retailer is moving back to Utah [Outside Business Journal]
- Patagonia, REI, The North Face, and others say they won’t attend Outdoor Retailer if it moves to Utah [Outdoor Business Journal]
- Utah AG mounting legal challenge to Biden’s order restoring Bears Ears and Grand Staircase monuments [Salt Lake Tribune]
- Editorial: The political battle over Bears Ears should not stop a win-win land swap [Salt Lake Tribune]