July 7, 2017 – Utah is one of our biggest competitors in the outdoor recreation industry, so it’s no surprise that Colorado’s making a big deal out of securing the Outdoor Retailer shows, the leading tradeshows for the industry, which were held in Salt Lake City for the past two decades. Beginning 2018, the shows will take place in Denver – and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate this move on the Western Slope as well.
In a letter to members, Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association, said about the move:
“Colorado’s recreation economy grew significantly over the past five years. The outdoor recreation economy in Colorado generates $28 billion in consumer spending and supports 229,000 jobs. During our 20 years in Utah, we worked with Utah’s elected officials to test ideas like an office of outdoor recreation at the state level. We look forward to partnering with policymakers in Colorado around new and innovative ideas to further boost outdoor recreation as a part of the nation’s economy. We are excited to introduce our tribe to a new city and look forward to new adventures and making memories with friends old and new.”
(Read the rest of the letter posted on SGB Online here.)
Sarah Shrader, co-owner of Bonsai Design in Grand Junction, founding member of the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley, and GJEP board member, explained what this means for local industry in The Daily Sentinel:
“Aside from putting suppliers and retailers together, the trade shows become host to political discussions and policy forums where conversations can turn to conservation efforts, diversifying rural economies and attracting a millennial workforce.
The shows are more of an industry summit, making Colorado ground-zero for game-changing ideas that may take root near the places where people want to play — something Colorado has in abundance.
‘The Grand Valley stands to benefit from Outdoor Retailer being in Colorado because of the message it sends about the values this state has,” [Shrader] said. ‘Mesa County is 74 percent public land and regardless of political affiliation, the people here value our public lands. It galvanizes our community brand.'”
Read the rest of the article in The Daily Sentinel here.
Learn more about the outdoor recreation industry in Colorado’s Grand Valley here.
Photo by Bradley Gordon.