Sports Specialists, Ltd. (SSL) of Golden CO and Snowsports Merchandising Corp. (SMC) of Springfield MA, co-hosts of the Winter Sports Market, announced a change beginning in 2019, and will call Salt Lake City its new home.

The next Winter Sports Market will be held in Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Center, with show dates of January 23 through 25, 2019. The three-year contract between Visit Salt Lake and WSM also includes January 22-24, 2020 and January 20-22, 2021.

This year’s show was held in Denver from January 22 to 24.

The Winter Sports Market began in 1998, making it the longest continuously running trade show for specialty wintersports retailers in the U.S. WSM has traditionally aligned the show dates with the former Snowsports Industry Snow Show and most recently with the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show.

With the OR + Snow Show moving to early January in 2019, WSM believes it’s in the best interest of its retailers to hold the show later in January, allowing specialty shops to provide more accurate orders to suppliers.

Commenting further on what motivated SSL members to support WSM’s new initiative, SSL president Dave Nacke said, “SSL’s purpose is to help all specialty wintersports stores achieve stronger selling margins, increase both industry and business knowledge and strengthen the unique partnerships with the leading brands in our industries that value the specialty retail channel as critical to their long term success. The wintersports industry is unique and we feel it important to have a platform where we only talk about wintersports.”

Tom Gately, president of SMC, added “We feel this is the best opportunity to provide not only the services that our membership has come to expect but to also connect our shareholders and buyers with our valued vendor-partners. Most in the industry agree that it’s critical to keep specialty retailers healthy and careful consideration was given to not encroach on our retailers’ busiest selling period when they need to be in their stores.”

Photo courtesy Visit Salt Lake