The Outdoor Industry Association and over 17,000 manufacturers, retailers and suppliers to the Outdoor Industry will fill the Salt Palace Convention Center January 23 – 26, 2008, during the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Tradeshow, creating more than $15 million in direct economic impact to Salt Lake.* Top initiatives for this show include the health and future of the national parks, connecting with today’s teens, environmental sustainability, technical communication standards, fair labor practices, and outdoor recreation policy.
Typical local beneficiaries include hotels, restaurants, local attractions, convention centers, resort areas, food services, exhibit companies, audio/visual, sound, light and staging services, local transportation firms and shopping centers, as well as many other support services in the city and surrounding areas.
Active Utah outdoor recreation fuels tremendous economic growth in Utah. It contributes $5.8 billion annually to Utah’s economy, supports 65,000 jobs, generates nearly $300 million in annual state tax revenues, and produces 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 60s and 70s into a multibillion dollar industrial powerhouse.
161 million Americans, more than half of the population, participate every year in everything from camping, hunting, running, hiking, boating, skiing, etc. Policy makers and decision makers have begun to acknowledge and recognize the ties of outdoor recreation and physical health, mental health, quality of life, environmental and historical preservation, air/water quality, and many other benefits.
“Active outdoor recreation has grown into a major engine for our economy, producing millions of jobs and generating billions in tax dollars, said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of Outdoor Industry Association. He continued, “Policymakers need to recognize this enormous economic contribution and encourage its continued growth when making decisions about the use of public space and parks and recreation.”
In Salt Lake City and the surrounding area, there are numerous outdoor industry companies, in addition to the adventure travel, recreation, and other retail shops that contribute to the recreation economy.
Salt Lake has experienced a large influx of outdoor companies that have fallen in love with the climate, the people and the environment, largely due to their exposure to Utah in conjunction with the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show. “These are companies that would never have had Utah on their radar had it not been for the exposure to Utah they have had while attending the Outdoor Retailer Markets for the past 10 years,” said Scott Beck, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Some noteworthy companies in the SLC area who are contributing to the greater economy include: Black Diamond Equipment (climbing, skiing, technical equipment and soft goods), Petzl, USA (climbing equipment and technical lighting), Backcountry.com (online specialty retailer), Easton Technical Products, Rossignol Skis (skis, snowboards), Chums (Sport Accessories), Zeal Optics (sunglasses), Chisco (Performance Sport Accessories), as well as Salomon (skis, snowboards, apparel, footwear) Atomic (skis, snowboards) and Peregrine Outfitters (wholesale distributor of more than 6,000 outdoor accessories, equipment and books) who have recently moved to Utah. Contact information for companies available upon request.
The “Active Outdoor Recreation Economy” study was released during the 25th Annual Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in 2006 in Salt Lake City, a major event that now draws over 20,000 participants and more than 1,000 exhibitors involved in the active outdoor recreation industry. Download a copy of the study quick facts at http://www.outdoorindustryfoundation.org/
*All economic impact figures are based on research from the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR). According to BEBR, a Salt Lake convention delegate in 2007 spent $889 during an average three-day stay.