SALT LAKE CITY (January 20, 2015) — An estimated 22,000 manufacturers, retailers and suppliers to the outdoor industry will return to Utah today, generating more than $20 million in direct delegate spending to Salt Lake and the state of Utah.*

The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 is being housed in the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center. It kicks off Tuesday, January 20, with the All Mountain Demo at Solitude Mountain Resort in beautiful Big Cottonwood Canyon. With a focus on backcountry safety, this unique event gives retailers, reps and the media first look at the season’s latest gear, equipment and technology.

Over the life of the show in Salt Lake, direct delegate spending by Outdoor Retailer attendees has totaled more than $495 million, accounting for more than $46 million in city, county and state taxes, thus substantially relieving the tax burden of citizens in every community throughout Utah. 

“Our proximity to the Central Wasatch Mountains and other forests, rivers and canyons, gives attendees at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market a location to see the latest gear in action. We’re very pleased to welcome all those in attendance, whether it’s their first Winter Market visit or their tenth trip. Salt Lake County is becoming the place for entrepreneurs to consider launching an outdoor business as well,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

Of course, the connection between Utah and Outdoor Retailer is deeper than dollars. "In addition to welcoming back OR for the obvious economic reasons, the show's attendees also recognize Salt Lake as one of the best outdoor recreation communities in North America," said Scott Beck, president & CEO of Visit Salt Lake. "Our community enthusiastically welcomes the manufacturers, retailers and suppliers each year, and the local businesses serving them appreciate their business."

“The Outdoor Retailers' semi-annual events here in Salt Lake City are always a highlight for our community," said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. "We not only bear the benefits of a significant, and much appreciated, positive economic boon, but are able to play host to a group of businesses that really share our love of the outdoors and the recreational opportunities that come with Utah's spectacular natural assets."

"We are looking forward to another great Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake, a city that is so welcoming and inviting," said Marisa Nicholson, Emerald Expositions V.P. and show director. "By and large, the people of this state live and breathe the outdoor recreation that makes up our industry, we love that shared lifestyle connection and are looking forward to another great event."

Outdoor recreation is a substantial and critical sector of the American economy. Outdoor Industry Association recently released “The Outdoor Recreation Economy,” a report showing that outdoor recreation is a major economic driver in the United States — and one that has grown throughout the recession.
“As the way people engage with outdoor recreation continues to evolve, strategic initiatives that continue to inspire people to get outdoors are vital to the health of our industry,” said Steve Barker, interim executive director of OIA. “We are proud to be part of an ongoing effort to form a Close-to-Home Recreation Coalition, which will advocate for increased funding and access to open space in local communities."

Highlight Facts from the Recreation Economy Report
The outdoor recreation economy is responsible for:
6.1 million direct American jobs
$646 billion in direct consumer spending
$39.9 billion in federal tax revenue
$39.7 billion in state/local tax revenue

In Utah, where the Outdoor Retailer Summer and Winter Markets have been held since 1996, outdoor recreation continues to fuel tremendous economic growth, contributing $12 billion annually to the state’s economy, supporting 122,400 jobs, generating $856 million in annual state and local tax revenues, and producing $3.6 billion annually in wages and salaries in Utah.
* Total visitor spending figures are based on surveys of convention delegates conducted by the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR). Surveys conducted by BEBR over the last five years indicate the average delegate spends $923 while attending a convention in Salt Lake.

Visit Salt Lake is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. In partnership with Salt Lake County, Visit Salt Lake’s mission is to improve the area economy by attracting and providing support to conventions, leisure travelers and visitors while being a leader in environmental responsibility. Salt Lake is a unique fusion of metropolitan city and quaint mountain town; the towering Wasatch Mountains that embrace Salt Lake offer a dramatic backdrop to the vibrancy and activities of downtown.