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Colorado Leaders Support Outdoor Recreation Industry with Future of Outdoor Retailer Trade Show

Feb 14, 2022

DENVER – Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet and Colorado Governor Jared Polis expressed their support for announcements from outdoor industry leaders reiterating that Denver remains the natural home of future Outdoor Retailer Trade shows. Senator Hickenlooper, Senator Bennet, and Governor Polis stand with the outdoor industry to support a gathering that recognizes the many elements, values, and needs of the $374.3 billion per year outdoor recreation economy. 

Colorado is a national leader in outdoor recreation and a natural home for the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show. Colorado’s strong support for public lands and national leadership on climate change are aligned with the values and vision of the outdoor industry. 

Senator Hickenlooper, Senator Bennet, and Governor Polis released the following joint statement:

“Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry is crucial to our economy and our way of life. Many of the industry’s major brands call Colorado home, and rightfully so — we take pride in caring for our public lands and supporting our tribes while taking bold climate action and remaining business friendly. Today’s announcement from the outdoor recreation industry and its top leaders underscores that the Outdoor Retailer Show belongs in Colorado. We stand with the outdoor recreation community to support an inclusive and meaningful outdoor recreation gathering that will always have a home in the Centennial State.” 

The outdoor recreation industry has always been ingrained in Colorado’s DNA, which is why Colorado was proud to be the second state in the country to create an office dedicated solely to outdoor recreation. The Outdoor Retailer Trade Show show serves as a gathering place for important efforts to protect our nation’s public lands, including the launch of the CORE Act to protect over 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado. 

Colorado’s leadership has also supported the efforts of Colorado’s Ute Mountain Ute Tribe to protect Bears Ears as a National Monument. The state has recently advanced a new sustainable outdoors funding model, while lowering costs for Coloradans, through the Keep Colorado Wild Pass, and is increasing equitable access to the outdoors through the state’s new Outdoor Equity Fund. 

Recognized for its long-term commitment to protecting public lands and a strong outdoor recreation economy, Colorado became the new home of the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in 2017. Five years later, Colorado continues to serve as the leading location for outdoor recreation businesses and workforce training, and as a hub for policy discussions. Last month Senator Hickenlooper, Senator Bennet, and Governor Polis called for the show to remain in Colorado after the current contract expires. 

Emerald Expositions (Emerald X), the company that owns the rights to the Outdoor Retailer Show, has not yet confirmed they intend to keep the show in Denver. The outdoor industry made clear today that a potential move will not carry the support of the majority of brands within the industry. 


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