Outdoor Retailer Winter + Snow Show 2018
This past January was slightly bittersweet for many of us in the in the outdoor industry. Marred by the State’s stance on the shrinking of Bear’s Ears National Monument, and the broader approach toward public land, Outdoor Retailer announced last February that it would be ending its contract with Utah’s Salt Palace Convention Center and moving the twice-yearly outdoor recreation tradeshow out of the state.
Several municipalities vied for the opportunity to become the new home of the show, with Denver ultimately winning out.
The move wasn’t without controversy, however, and many in the outdoor industry, including myself, believe the show organizers used the State’s position as a means to exit out of their contracts early and move to a new venue. The trade show had already been looking to make a move in a couple of years, citing complaints about the Salt Palace’s lack of floor space and nearby hotel rooms. A move to a city like Denver was seen as a step in the right direction to solve both of these problems. The State’s position on public lands only acted as a platform to accelerate the move out of Utah.
I say the move was bittersweet because many of us looked to our visits to Salt Lake as an opportunity to catch up with the many Cruiser friends who have their shops there. Over the last six years, Krista and I have been fortunate to attend the annual customer appreciation picnics hosted by the fine folks at Cruiser Outfitters and Equipt Expedition Outfitters. I remember meeting up with fellow 4Runner owners and heading out on an evening run into the Wasatch Front. We would leave the show early to try and beat the crowds to the Red Iguana, or Squatter’s Pub.
Although I may not agree with the pretext of the Outdoor Retailer’s decision to move out of Utah, I look forward to spending time with the phenomenal Toyota and Cruiser-oriented companies that call Denver home. I do not know Denver as well as Salt Lake so I would love to hear about your favorite dive bars, food trucks, and breakfast joints. Send your recommendations to the Living Overland or Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Social accounts.
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Winter 2018 Issue:
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