Salt Lake News & Updates



May 22
Poison  is bringing the Nothing But A Good Time Tour with speci...
May 23
SUM 41
  Multiplatinum rock outfit Sum 41 wrapped its final tour...
May 26
Celtic Woman
It has been more than ten years since Celtic Woman first captur...
Mar 25 - May 26
Baby Animal Season
It’s springtime and Baby Animal Season is here! Have you ever h...
May 25 - May 29
Salt Lake Bees vs. Reno
Watch the Salt Lake Bees as they play Reno at Smith's Ballpark....
May 30
Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo
Watch Real Salt Lake play Houston Dynamo at Rio Tinto Stadium....
Jun 2
Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Watch Real Salt Lake play Seattle Sounders FC at Rio Tinto Stad...
Jun 2
2018 Girls on the Run Utah 5K Race
Sign up as a race participant or as a Running Buddy! This is a ...
Jun 2
Golden Spoke Rides and Event
The Wasatch Front Regional Council, in partnership with the Uta...
Jun 2
National Trails Day with the Cottonwood Canyons Founda
Join the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation to create a new trail in...
Jun 2 - Jun 3
2018 Utah Pride Festival
A program of The Utah Pride Center, The Utah Pride Festival is ...
Jun 4
Styx with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
103.5 The Arrow – Arrowfest presents STYX with Joan Jett and Th...
Jun 9
Holi Festival of Colors SLC
In India Holi Celebrates the coming of spring with music, danci...
Jun 9
Drop13 Half Marathon & 5K
The Drop13 Half Marathon is considered by many the fastest Half...
Jun 6 - Jun 27
2018 Salt City Sounds Concert Series
Broadway Media, working in partnership with Park City Live, is ...
May 16 - Oct 10
Zoo Brew
Join us for Zoo Brew and roam with drink in hand at this fun af...
View All Events

Outdoor Show Brings Bang and Bucks to Salt Lake

Published: 08/11/2008

by Sarah Ryther Francom
Utah Business Magazine

The great outdoors was quiet this weekend, as fishermen, kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts of all makes and models ditched their sports for the summer Outdoor Retailers Market. Approximately 22,000 attended the event, which started last Friday and ends today.

The event brought more than 1,000 exhibitors to show off their latest and greatest outdoor gear and, of course, check out the competition. According to Kenji Haroutunian, show director for Outdoor Retailer, the twice-a-year show is a must-attend event for outdoor retailers. "It's so important for retailers to attend because the pace of the business changes all the time," he said. "It lets them see what other retailers are doing different. And there's nothing like seeing your partners and competitors face to face."

The packed event allows new companies to showcase their products, as well as brings in core companies like Teva and Wenzel. Haroutunian says that a huge part of the event that's often overlooked is the raw materials component. "There are more than 100 companies and 1,000 brands that show their raw materials, like buckles and zippers. It's a huge part of the event." All-in-all, if it's an outdoor product, the show's got it.

But the event brings more than outdoor enthusiasts and gear to Salt Lake-the event rakes in an estimated $19 million, according to the University of Utah's Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR). That's because exhibitors and attendees spend their dollars on hotels, restaurants, local attractions, etc. In fact, according to the BEBR, a Salt Lake convention delegate in 2007 spent approximately $889 during in an average three-day stay.

And though the nation's economy has hit a hurdle, Haroutunian says that the outdoor industry is still moving full speed ahead. "The economy hasn't really impacted the industry," he said. "Certainly we are dealing with common challenges, like increased shipping costs and fuel costs. But there's not the kind of drop off that we've seen more drastically in luxury goods or cars, for example. Even though outdoor equipment may be discretionary, it's much cheaper. And since people are ‘stay-cationing' they're still buying tents, kayaks. These items are still a lot cheaper than a trip to France."

The event has been coming to Utah since 1996, and according to Haroutunian, it's not going anywhere. "We love Salt Lake City," he said. "Utah is the country's playground. There are very few mountain towns that have the combination of hotels, amenities and exhibit space. Salt Lake's really been a great home. We'll find a way to stay here."

Utah has a growing reputation as being the nation's outdoor playground, and the outdoor industry has equaled tremendous economic growth for the Beehive State. 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, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.