Outdoor Retailer (OR) organizers, backed by the unanimous support of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) board of directors, has decided that the Winter and Summer Market tradeshows will continue at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah through the end of 2016.

Outdoor Retailer began hosting the tradeshow in Salt Lake City in 1996 and was previously contracted with Salt Lake through 2014.

“Outdoor Retailer is grateful to be able to remain in Salt Lake City for the next three years,” said Kenji Haroutunian, Nielsen Expo Outdoor Group vice president and OR show director. “The industry has a collective affection for this town; the shared outdoor passions, cost efficiency of doing business, and the partnership of regional and state officials have all directly contributed to the current vibrancy and success of the show.”

The contract extension comes after 18 months of vigorous work with Salt Lake City to answer concerns about inadequate housing and infrastructure for the OR Winter and Summer Market shows, two of the fastest growing shows in the country. Tradeshow organizers have also initiated discussions with more than 3,000 tradeshow stakeholders regarding the growth trajectory of the show through surveys, advisory boards, one-on-one conversations, and through the Collective Voice website, an online sounding board and information site dedicated to the future venue question.

For the next three years, show participants now have the option to utilize the infrastructure solutions put in place to accommodate the Olympics in 2002 and/or the improved transportation infrastructure that now exists for hotels not in the immediate downtown area.

The longer-term growth trajectory and ‘needs list’ of the show remain a discussion between the outdoor industry and viable venues throughout the country. In the short term, the Summer Market show will continue to utilize a further expanded outdoor structure space, adjacent to the convention center.

In the last four years, the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show has seen a 13 percent average growth in overall attendance and an average 11 percent growth for the Winter Market show, with both shows experiencing double digit percentage growth in the number of attending stores over those same four years. The show matched attendee growth with an increase in net-sold square feet, seven percent for Summer Market and six percent for Winter Market.

“Discussions about longer term solutions beyond 2016 are still ongoing with Salt Lake and other potential host cities,” continued Haroutunian. “We understand everyone is anxious for a longer-term decision, but making sure the show has a home that fits the needs of the industry is hugely important. The extension period will help us make sure we get it right.”

The two year extension comes with the support of the OIA who has been a partner in the process of collecting industry feedback, and in providing solid intelligence and insight into the concerns, needs and preferences of their members.

“Outdoor Retailer is a great partner. We’ve been working very closely with them every step of the way and are confident in their efforts to meet the needs of the industry and the show,” said OIA’s President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer.

Future dates for the outdoor industry tradeshow and demo events are available online at www.outdoorretailer.com/info/about-the-shows.

Image courtesy Outdoor Retailer

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