In a letter to OIA members, Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA),  spelled out the benefits of the move of the Outdoor Retailer show to Denver, including shifting the dates to the front end of the ordering cycle, significantly reduced booth rates and less travel for the industry with the combined Winter Show.

Roberts’ full letter follows:

Dear OIA Members:

 This morning Outdoor Retailer and OIA announced that beginning in January of 2018, Denver will be the new home of future trade shows.

 While the news of Denver is rightfully grabbing the headlines, today’s announcement is the latest development in more than two years of work to ensure that our industry gathering evolves to deliver the highest return on investment to OIA members. What does that look like?

  • A new trade show cycle that shifts the dates of Outdoor Retailer to the front end of the ordering cycle, in response to member input that making OR a launch show will mean improved business collaboration between vendors and retailers and greater opportunities for innovation. Beginning in November 2018 and going forward, Outdoor Retailer will move to November and June, with a combined Outdoor Retailer+Snow Show in January. These earlier show dates will allow vendors to unveil their seasonal product highlights and brand stories at the start of the buying cycle, engaging international media and retailers when it matters most to seasonal results. New show dates can be found in this statement from Outdoor Retailer.
  • We are working toward final dates for a co-located show cycle with Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and Outdoor Retailer in June and November, allowing many retailers and vendors to get much of their business done in one city two times per year. Outdoor Retailer and SIA are working with buying groups around the January show.  We recognize that strong regional shows will continue to round out buying opportunities as well.
  • This new schedule results in less travel, fewer shows in fewer cities and thus an efficient use of OIA member company resources.
  • Significantly reduced booth rates over previous years for the November OR and January OR+Snow Shows. The discount for OIA members will nearly triple from the current 10 percent to close to 30 percent. 
  • A new chapter for Outdoor Retailer in a city with national and international flight access, light rail transportation to downtown, geographic proximity to the East and West coasts and strong convention center, hotel and restaurant infrastructure.
  • Colorado’s recreation economy grew significantly over the past five years. The outdoor recreation economy in Colorado generates $28 billion in consumer spending and supports 229,000 jobs. During our 20 years in Utah, we worked with Utah’s elected officials to test ideas like an office of outdoor recreation at the state level. We look forward to partnering with policymakers in Colorado around new and innovative ideas to further boost outdoor recreation as a part of the nation’s economy. We are excited to introduce our tribe to a new city and look forward to new adventures and making memories with friends old and new.
  • A commitment by OIA to continue to bring the industry together to advance the work you asked us to do: Advocating on behalf of the industry to protect our public lands and waters and to increase recreation opportunities for every American through our work at all levels of government; continue outdoor industry leadership in product innovation and sustainability; and leading the way through the work of the Outdoor Foundation in getting more people active and outside.

 Outdoor Industry Association is deeply grateful for the many people who worked long days and many weekends over the past few months to find a new home for our industry gathering.  This includes the Outdoor Retailer team, Visit Denver, Luis Benitez with the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation, the OIA Board of Directors with a special thank you to our Board Chair Gordon Seabury, my wonderful staff here at OIA, the team at Snow Sports Industries America and our partners at Grassroots Outdoor Alliance with whom we are working to co-locate and thus streamline the trade show cycle for vendors and retailers.

 I would like to thank you for showing up in force at this year’s Capitol Summit, reaching out to your members of Congress, engaging with our new Advocacy Center, joining our working groups and engaging in the important work on behalf of our special industry.

 Finally, I thank you for joining OIA and our members this July in Salt Lake City to thank the businesses that have supported our industry these past 20 years and to show our appreciation for their hospitality as we close a chapter in our industry’s history. And, most of all, thank you for your support, encouragement and patience these past few months as we finalized a very complex process and move on to our next exciting adventure.  Together We are A Force.

 Best regards,



Photo courtesy Outdoor Retailer