Last summer, Visit Salt Lake finalized the agreements for the Outdoor Retailer Winter and Summer Markets through 2014. (The previous agreement ran through Summer Market 2011.) With an estimated $35-$40 million per year in direct visitor spending in Salt Lake and surrounding communities, the total estimated economic impact of the extended agreement could reach over $120 million.*
A record number of retailers registered for this year's Winter Market signals an optimistic outlook for the convention center's largest annual user. With more attendees registered than last year to date, enthusiasm about the industry and the relevance of this trade show are strong.
"On behalf of our members and the state's hospitality industry as a whole, it's both exciting and rewarding to see that our destination continues to be relevant, particularly with the outdoor recreation industry and the trade show owner, Nielsen Business Media," said Scott Beck, President and CEO of Visit Salt Lake. "It's our community -- our citizens, our local businesses and our incredible natural infrastructure -- that make Salt Lake and the OR Show such an ideal fit. When you combine the incredible natural surroundings of Salt Lake and the Wasatch mountains, our destination is the perfect place for this unique gathering of outdoor-related businesses and retailers."
"We fully appreciate the efforts Scott Beck, Visit Salt Lake and the community has made to not only sustain our relationship, but strengthen our partnership," said Kenji Haroutunian, Outdoor Retailer show director. "Outdoor Retailer and Salt Lake have a long history, and we look forward to continuing this partnership through 2014, if not longer."
What began primarily as an event whose impact was felt in the hotels, restaurants, local attractions, exhibit companies, sound, light and staging services, local transportation firms and shopping centers in Salt Lake, has transitioned into what the Governor's Office of Economic Development now considers an opportunity to grow Utah's economy with outdoor industry-related companies relocating to Utah.
Active Utah outdoor recreation fuels tremendous economic growth in Utah, contributing $5.8 billion annually to Utah's economy, supporting 65,000 jobs, generating nearly $300 million in annual state tax revenues, and producing nearly $4 billion annually in retail sales and services across Utah, accounting for almost five percent of the Gross State Product. The outdoor recreation industry has grown from a few small businesses that started in garages and out of the back of vans in the 1960s and 1970s into a multibillion dollar industrial powerhouse.
In Salt Lake and the surrounding area, there are numerous outdoor industry companies, in addition to adventure travel, recreation and other retail shops that contribute to the recreation economy.
Some noteworthy companies in and around the Salt Lake area contributing to the greater economy include: Black Diamond Equipment (climbing, skiing, technical equipment and soft goods), Petzl, USA (climbing equipment, technical lighting), Backcountry.com (online specialty retailer), Easton Technical Products, Rossignol Skis (skis, snowboards), Ogio (luggage, bags), Chums (sport accessories), Zeal Optics (sunglasses), Voile (backcountry equipment), Chisco (performance sport accessories), Fezzari (bicycle manufacturer), Waterbox (waterbottle manufacturer), and Klymit (insulation technologies for the Outdoors), as well as Amer Sports (whose brands include Atomic, Salomon, Suunto, Arc'teryx, etc.) and Liberty Mountain (wholesale distributor of more than 6,000 outdoor accessories, equipment and books) who have relocated or expanded operations in Utah. Contact information for companies is available upon request.
* 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. VSL'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. For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, go to www.VisitSaltLake.com.
Outdoor Retailer (OR), produced by Nielsen Expositions of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., is a full-service trade show company that creates, markets and produces high-quality expos and educational conferences. OR is the leading outdoor industry business-to-business event management company, bringing together manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation. Now celebrating more than 25 years of successful events, Outdoor Retailer (www.outdoorretailer.com) gathers approximately 40,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for its Winter and Summer Market shows.
Preview the future of the outdoor industry at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, which will bring the best of winter product offerings to Solitude and Salt Lake City at the All Mountain Demo on January 19, 2011, and the trade show from January 20-23, 2011. Outdoor Retailer Winter Market and the All Mountain Demo will return to Salt Lake for its traditional dates January 18-22 in 2012.