colorado, skiiing, copper, mountainReady to take the first plunge of the day while skiing Copper Mountain. Credit Matt Inden/Miles

Colorado’s commitment to conservation paid dividends when organisers of tradeshow Outdoor Retailer (OR) chose state capital Denver following a split with longstanding state hosts Utah.

Next year the Colorado Convention Center, in Denver, will host three shows: a combined Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

“We chose Colorado for its long-term commitment to protecting and nurturing public lands,” said Marisa Nicholson, VP of Outdoor Group at Emerald Expositions and Outdoor Retailer show director. “We chose Denver because this is where the industry wants to be.”

Together the events are likely to attract more than 85,000 delegates, netting Denver $110m.

Colorado state governor, John Hickenlooper, said: “If you look at what this means, that’s a huge benefit, but that’s not what deserves to be mentioned. State parks, wildlife areas. All this stuff comes as an accumulative attraction. It is part of the defining characteristic of Colorado.”

For the last 20 years Salt Lake City has hosted Outdoor Retailer, but an acrimonious disagreement over Utah’s approach to public lands prompted the show to seek a new home in February this year.

Amongst other demands, tradeshow partner the Outdoor Industry Association wanted Utah Governor Gary Herbert to reverse a resolution to rescind National Monument designation from 1.3 million acres of land called Bears Ears. His refusal to do so, combined with the threat of a show boycott from big-name outdoor retailers, led Emerald Expositions to look elsewhere.

Colorado’s credentials:

  • Colorado has four national parks, five national monuments and 41 state parks, as well as other designated areas of interest.
  • Colorado State University’s innovative Centre for Collaborative Conservation aims to ensure an alignment between university research and conservation in practice.
  • Founded in 1965, environmental organisation Conservation Colorado has more than 27,000 members, who lobby elected leaders to ‘protect land, air, water and communities’.

Source: Denver Post, outsideonline