Outdoor Retailer convention coming back to Salt Lake City in 2023

Mar 23, 2022, 10:58 AM | Updated: Mar 24, 2022, 12:47 pm
Weather feature--Jan. 6, 1998--Nancy Trouse runs electrical wires in a tent being constructed (100 ...
Weather feature--Jan. 6, 1998--Nancy Trouse runs electrical wires in a tent being constructed (100 so. between 200 and 300 west) for the Outdoor Retailer show on Jan. 30-Feb. 2. The tent is in this location because of the construction being done on the salt palace expansion. Photo by Kristan Jacobsen
(100 so. between 200 and 300 west)

SALT LAKE CITY — After a five-year hiatus, the Outdoor Retailer show is returning to Salt Lake City in 2023 through 2025.  This move isn’t sitting well with dozens of retailers that say they plan on boycotting the show if it’s in the Beehive State.

Just this fall, Gov. Spencer Cox invited the convention back to Salt Lake. 


“We are working with key stakeholders in the Department of the Interior to establish sustainable ways to manage Bears Ears National Monument, and other cherished public lands,” he said in the message.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall says the yearly expo has been deeply missed since it left in 2017.  Organizers took the show to Denver to protest Governor Gary Herbert’s support of President Trump’s reduction of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.  Mendenhall says she has been working to bring the show back since then.

She says, “Frankly, right now, it seems like our city is coming unglued with joy that Outdoor Retailer is coming home to Salt Lake City.”

Mendenhall says there were several factors that brought the show back.  For instance, she says the new Hyatt Regency Hotel would make lodging more convenient for the retailers coming to the show.  Plus, the city has created a new public lands office.  The Deseret News is reporting several retailers have said the costs associated with hosting the show in Denver have gone up significantly, compared to what they were in Utah.

However, nearly three dozen companies say they will boycott the show if it returned to Utah.  They signed an open letter posted on The Conservation Alliance’s website, saying, “We’ve joined together in stating that we will not support or attend a trade show event in Utah so long as its elected officials continue attacks on national monuments and public lands protections.”

Mendenhall says she understands why companies would feel this way, but she says retailers would have a better chance of influencing public lands policies but working in Utah, not by staying away.

She says, “Don’t pull away from this fight.  Join us with a seat at the table, again.”

Visit Salt Lake Executive Director Kaitlin Eskelson says they’re creating a new “Business With A Purpose” office to help create better public lands policies.

Eskelson says, “Our ‘Business With A Purpose’ group will provide increased opportunities for the industry, local communities and media to participate in panel discussions, educational activities and volunteer projects.”

REI released a statement, explaining its dissatisfaction with the move. 

We are very disappointed by Emerald’s decision to move the Outdoor Retailer trade show out of Colorado and back to Utah in January 2023 despite the strong objections of the co-op and other industry leaders. 

Utah’s elected officials have repeatedly refused to protect—and are actively working to undermine—duly designated national monuments and natural treasures, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante. As we made clear in February, REI will not participate in any OR trade show in the state so long as Utah’s leaders persist in attacking our public lands and the laws that protect them. We remain committed to our employees, members, vendors and communities in the state.  

 The co-op is unwavering in our commitment to public lands—the mountains, deserts, prairies, waters and forests that tens of millions of Americans from all backgrounds cherish and enjoy annually. We recognize and maintain solidarity with the Native American communities who have stewarded these lands for generations and continue to lead the campaign for their protection.

 We hope Emerald will reconsider the host site of Outdoor Retailer in the future.”

The Outdoor Retailer Show had a contract with Denver through this year.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

wholesale inflation utah interest rates...
Mark Jones

The impact inflation is having on younger Americans

What kind of impact is inflation having on younger Americans? Dave & Dujanovic talked to a reporter from to discuss the matter.
1 day ago
Multiple dollar bills are pictured, social security will see a bump...
Mark Jones

How to talk to your spouse about finances? An expert weighs in.

Dave and Dujanovic discuss how we can discuss finances with our spouse.
2 days ago
More stores now offer customers the option to tip, from coffee shops to ice cream stores. Around 48...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Americans facing a radically different tipping culture

People are tipping less of inflation, and they are also overwhelmed with the number of places that give them the option to tip with a card
2 days ago
mortgage rates...
Anna Bahney, CNN

What the banking crisis means for mortgage rates

When Treasury yields go up, so do mortgage rates; when they go down, mortgage rates tend to follow.
4 days ago
Utah's unemployment rate remains one of the lowest nationally, according to the Salt Lake Chamber's...
Waverly Golden

Utah’s unemployment rate remains one of the lowest nationally

Utah's unemployment rate remains one of the lowest nationally, according to the Salt Lake Chamber's Roadmap to Prosperity Dashboard.
5 days ago
quit their jobs...
Amie Schaeffer

Utah’s jobs report stays steady for February

The February jobs report shows Utah has remained steady in the unemploment rate and the tech sector is bouncing back.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...
BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.
Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a new winter activity? Try skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five common causes of Cervical Cancer – and what you can do to lower your risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get ready for fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 easy Christmas dinner ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Outdoor Retailer convention coming back to Salt Lake City in 2023