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Outdoor Retailers: Winter market brings in newest gear

By Keith McCord | Posted - Jan. 21, 2015 at 9:25 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Hotels are full, the restaurants are packed and that means one of Salt Lake City's largest convention is back in town: the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Manufacturers are rolling out all the new gear that will be in the stores next year.

This show and its counterpart “Summer” market have been held in Salt Lake City since 1996. These shows are the city’s largest convention, and they dump a huge amount of money into the local economy.

“It's nearly $500 million of combined delegate spending,” said Scott Beck, president and CEO of Visit Salt Lake. “That number is not the total economic impact of the show; that's just what the attendees spend in the local community.”

Everything from hotels to restaurants and rental cars, he said.

At this show, 24,000 buyers and sellers are in town, and each will put a good sized dent in their company expense account: “Their economic footprint, per delegate is just a little more than $950," Beck said.

Deron DeGraw, is with Heat Factory USA, a Carlsbad, California, which has manufactured hand-warmers and accessories for three decades. He’s sure he’ll drop at least $950 while he’s here.

The Outdoor Retailers' semiannual events here in Salt Lake City are always a highlight for our community.

–Mayor Ralph Becker

“Probably even more,” he said, “because we work hard here not only with the set up and working the booth as well. So we like to go for a nice dinner afterward and relax.”

Outdoor recreation is a $646 billion industry in the U.S., providing about six million jobs. In Utah, the industry supports more than 122,000 jobs, generating $856 million annually in state and local tax revenues.

“The Outdoor Retailers' semiannual events here in Salt Lake City are always a highlight for our community," said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. "We not only bear the benefits of a significant, and much appreciated, positive economic boon, but are able to play host to a group of businesses that really share our love of the outdoors and the recreational opportunities that come with Utah's spectacular natural assets."

The Outdoor Retailer Summer Market is a much larger show in terms of the number of products and vendors who attend. But, Beck said this week’s winter show is the largest to date.

“This show is the first time that Outdoor Retailer Winter Market has taken every single square foot of the convention center," Beck said. "So it's an all-time record for the outdoor retailer winter market.”


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