By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4)– Many Colorado companies specializing in outdoor recreation are excited that Denver could become the home of the industry’s most important trade shows and with it a significant boost to the economy.
Late Wednesday it was announced Emerald Expositions, which operates the massive Outdoor Retailer show is buying Snowsports Industries America, which operated its own trade show. The consolidation is being praised throughout the industry.
“On the trade side it’s really a big deal for a lot of different reasons. The trade is having to go to multiple trade shows. It’s really important for us to collaborate more as an industry,” said Scarpa CEO Kim Miller.
Scarpa makes high-end shoes and boots for a variety of outdoor activities.
In January 2018, the two shows will merge as one in Denver. The Outdoor Retailer show used to be held twice a year in Salt Lake City, but with an expired contract and political issues over public lands, many companies urged the show to leave Utah. The show brought the city an estimated $45 million in economic benefit. That number is now expected in Denver.
“I think it’s good for everybody! I think it’s particularly good for Denver, I think it’s good for Colorado. The idea that we’re promoting an industry in our state that is a good industry, clean industry, it promotes health it promotes social awareness and environmental consciousness,” said Miller.
The outdoor industry was responsible for 125,000 jobs and almost $1 billion in state and local taxes in Colorado in 2012. More updated numbers will be released this summer.
Miller says he’s excited to only participate in one show, which usually carries a six figure fee to host a booth at the show, and now it’s close to the Scarpa Boulder headquarters.
“I think it’s so important for advancing our industry and evolving our industry. Merging outdoor retailer and SIA Show is absolutely a good thing, from my perspective for everyone involved,” he said.
So far, Outdoor Retailer hasn’t announced plans for a Summer 2018 show. One source told CBS4 Outdoor Retailer is now looking to have three shows a year but exactly where they are hosted isn’t decided yet and sources wouldn’t tell CBS4 when that decision is expected. Denver is trying to land the shows on a long-term contract.
“There are so many really smart, motivated people working so hard on this right now and it gives me a lot of good hope for what’s possible,” Miller said about the future of the shows in Colorado.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.