SALT LAKE CITY (BRAIN) — Salt Lake City officials, along with hundreds of part-time workers who support Outdoor Retailer’s winter and summer shows, are breathing a sigh of relief — Outdoor Retailer will remain at the Salt Palace at least through 2016.
Show director Kenji Haroutunian made the announcement at a brief press conference Tuesday as Winter Market’s Outdoor Demo at Solitude Mountain Resort was shutting down.
And Wednesday, Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert will unveil the state’s Outdoor Recreation Vision in collaboration with Outdoor Industry Association. The association has approximately 4,000 members. The plan will outline the benefits of outdoor recreation and the recreation economy to Utah. It will also set some policy recommendations to enhance outdoor recreation and related industries.
One of the great things about the Salt Lake area, Haroutunian said, is its proximity to the Wasatch mountains. “Our advisory board, the OIA and the brands we rely on have a special love for the Wasatch and the Salt Lake Valley,” he said.
The announcement means millions of dollars in future business for the region. Winter and Summer Market inject into Utah’s economy some $40 million in visitor spending. A decision to move the show to another city would have been a significant blow to Salt Lake’s local economy.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the two shows generate approximately 550 jobs a year—that will amount to about $75 million in new wages through 2016. Haroutunian said Nielsen Business Media, which owns Outdoor Retailer and Interbike, will continue to negotiate with Salt Lake officials about long-term support for the show.
Winter Market has essentially filled the Salt Palace and last year’s Summer Market spilled out into a series of nearby tents. The city also has difficulty supplying enough hotel rooms, and the number of restaurants in close proximity to the Salt Palace is limited.
The show is so important to the city’s future that a $2.66 million grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development will pay for a 150,000-square-foot tent to house spillover exhibitors attending Summer Market. The tent will be erected on vacant land north of the Salt Palace. The summer show has overwhelmed the convention center’s 670,000 square feet of exhibit space.