Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has followed Outdoor Retailer out of Utah, according to Rich Hill, the organization’s president.

Grassroots’ Spring Connect and Fall Connect shows were scheduled to be held in Sandy, UT in 2018, but will now move due in part to a desire to stand together as an industry, namely with the OR mega-show.

“Our membership is unanimous in opposing Utah’s public lands policy,” he said. “The best idea that we’ve come away from the last year with is co-location with Outdoor Retailer. It’s critical that we work together as an industry.”

Outdoor Retailer stated last month that it would be leaving Utah because of disagreements with Gov. Gary Herbert on the state’s policy regarding the protection of public lands, including the designation of Bears Ears National Monument.

“It’s unlikely that there’s a bigger issue out there for Grassroots members and partners than preservation and access to public lands,” Hill said. “The outdoor community spends millions of dollars collectively each year to create and protect open spaces for outdoor recreation, and the aggressive stance of Utah’s elected officials on this front has our membership pretty fired up.”

The June 2018 Grassroots Connect show will co-locate with Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at its new venue, as determined by its current search process.

“Co-location makes so much sense for our retail members,” said Hill. “It essentially saves retailers six to eight days per year on travel.”

He continued, “Trade shows are obviously a big part of outdoor industry life. And while they’re important to everyone’s bottom line, the big opportunity is to use our gatherings to come together as an industry to recognize—and address—the headwinds that we are all facing.”

Photo courtesy Grassroots Outdoor Alliance