Interbike and Outdoor Retailer Searching for New Venues, Will Not Consider Utah

Photo: Interbike
Photo: Interbike

Utah legislators have been in the hot seat in recent weeks, with many proponents of public land, including both advocates and industry members, viewing legislation introduced by Utah congressmen as an assault on our public lands and our outdoor way of life. While the bill proposing the sale of 3.3 million acres of BLM land has been withdrawn, other legislation is still in the works, such as one that could open up some national parks to drilling for oil, another that could eliminate the newly-designated Bears Ears National Monument, and more.

In response to this legislation, many outdoor brands have protested the Outdoor Retailer (OR) show, held in Salt Lake City both during the summer and in the winter. Spearheaded by a brand you may have heard of–Patagonia–many other brands have chosen to boycott the Outdoor Retailer show, including Arc’teryx, Polartec Fabrics, Power Practical, Metolius, Kokopelli Packraft, Bedrock Sandles, and more. (Source) Still other brands have released statements opposing the legislation introduced by Utahans, yet have decided to still attend OR in an attempt to affect change from within the state.

Emerald Expositions, which is the parent company to both Outdoor Retailer and Interbike, met with Utah Governor Herbert on February 16, according to a recent press release. Based on that conversation, the entire state of Utah will not be considered to hold future venues for either Interbike or Outdoor Retailer. OR is still committed for Salt Lake City through 2017, but Utah will not be included for consideration for 2018. OR has been held in Salt Lake City for the past 20 years, so this will be a major move on the part of the trade show. (Source)

Photo: Interbike
Photo: Interbike

While Interbike is returning to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas for 2017, it could very well have a new location in the future… but that venue will not be located in the state of Utah. According to the press release,

“We will continue with the RFP process in the other locations that we’ve been in contact with for Interbike,” said Pat Hus, Vice President of Interbike. “Other than removing Utah from the process, nothing has changed from our standpoint. Interbike is committed to finding the best location for the cycling community, and we hope to have a more definitive direction in approximately 60 days.”

With a burgeoning bike industry presence along Colorado’s Front Range, many industry influencers have spread social media posts calling for Denver to be selected as Interbike’s next location. With a commitment in 2015 of $100 million to go towards bicycling infrastructure and a government position dubbed “Bike Czar,” Colorado is well-positioned politically as an excellent candidate to hold Interbike, as well as Outdoor Retailer.

But for now, we must wait and see what Emerald Expositions ultimately decides.