Outdoor Industry Association and Nielsen Expositions will begin polling Outdoor Retailer exhibitors in coming months to determine whether the show can remain in Salt Lake City or will need to move to a new venue. OIA President Frank Hugelemeyer estimated the show, which takes place in August and January, has a $50 million impact on Salt Lake City.
“Outdoor Retailers is outgrowing the Salt Palace,” OIA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer told an audience of about 800 attending the annual OIA Industry Breakfast presented by The North Face Thursday morning. “We will begin to look at other solutions, including wehther we can make it work here.”
Hugelmeyer said Salt Lake City remains a great cultural fit for the outdoor industry, but observers say to keep the show the city and state of Utah may have to agree to a third expansion of the Salt Palace. In recent years the number of performance and action sports brands exhibiting at the show has grown. At Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2011, Nielsen had to erect a large tent across the street from the Salt Palace to accomodate 150 new or newer exhibitors after the number of standup paddlesports exhibitors at the show jumped from less than a dozen to more than 30.
The show, which takes place in August and January, has a $50 million economic impact in the city, Hugelmeyer said.
The survey will focus on what new categories might be added to the show in coming years, what will be required to provide retail buyers with a great shopping experience and the need for on-site space for product demos and seminars. The survey is likely to liven debate over how much or which space brands like Gore-Tex, Primaloft, Schoeller, Cocona, Thinsulate and other component brands should get on the show floor.
OIA and Outdoor Retailer will also investigate what new categories are likely to emerge in the next decade that could signficantly increase the footprint of the show, which has added a growing array of peformance, action sports and other brands in recent years.