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Interbike says diminished dealer count, plus East Coast event, contributed to lower numbers in Vegas

Published September 28, 2016

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — As Interbike closed on Friday, show organizers reported that the show's visitor count dropped by 10 to 12 percent over last year, while exhibition space was down by 8 percent, according to preliminary figures. The show generally doesn't release final numbers until several weeks after the show closes.

Show spokesman Justin Gottlieb said organizers expected lower numbers in part because of Interbike's upcoming Fall CycloFest, which is scheduled for Oct. 20-23 in North Carolina. Many East Coast retailers sent smaller crews to Las Vegas this year and will send others to the North Carolina event, Gottlieb said. CycloFest includes trade-only and consumer days, including demos.

Several East Coast retailers have told BRAIN they chose to skip the Las Vegas show altogether this year to try out the new East Coast event.

Gottlieb also noted that there are simply fewer bike shops in the U.S., according to several sources. "This certainly has had an impact as well," Gottlieb said.

While show traffic appeared light, many attendees last week found attendance at the OutDoor Demo especially light, particularly on Monday. The event was visibly smaller as major brands including Giant, Specialized, Scott, Santa Cruz and Intense decided to stay away. The lack of major mountain bike brands pushed most traffic toward a handful of brands offering demos.

At the annual Industry Breakfast that opened the show on Wednesday, Interbike's vice president, Pat Hus, said 2016 has been one of the most challenging years he's seen in his decades in the bike industry.

Watch for more coverage of Interbike and the international trade show climate in the November issue of Bicycle Retailer.

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