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Outdoor Retail Show Staying Put, For Now

Outdoor Retail Show Staying Put, For Now

Posted - Aug. 11, 2004 at 7:06 p.m.



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Richard Piatt reporting Salt Lake's largest convention is staying.

Outdoor Retailers announced their decision to stay put for the next five years, if both the city and county, uphold some important conditions.

Applause, the result of honest relief. comes from a room full of government and business leaders involved in keeping Utah's largest convention money-maker.

Nancy Workman/Salt Lake County Mayor: "Uh, I am thrilled."

Bob O'Neill /Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown: "We are so happy. Not only for the hotel, but for the city, we are just elated."

Utah partly sold itself. At an event at Little Dell Reservoir, exhibitors marveled at the ideal scenery, just minutes from the convention.

Ken Hoeve/Dagger Kayaks: "I think for the overall vibe that's going on here, all the vendors that have a lot going on, Salt Lake City really works."

But there's more to it.

Show organizers insist Utah's commitment to preserve public lands continue.

Frank Hugelmeyer/Outdoor Industry Association: "Public lands are absolutely assets. And protecting those is absolutely a good business decision."

Almost as important, Salt Lake County agrees to expand the Salt Palace by 40-percent; temporarily for the winter show, permanently after that.

Salt Lake County agrees to find a way to fund the 52-million dollar project.

Peter Devin/Outdoor Retailer Director : "It's critical that this expansion take place, it's critical the timeline be adhered to."

No one wants to say it out loud yet, but paying for the salt palace expansion will probably involve some sort of tax increase, possibly a hotel and restaurant tax hike. That means the next step for the county will be up to Capitol Hill to lobby the legislature.

Nancy Workman/Salt Lake County Mayor: "It's a good thing we have a good relationship with the legislature. We've done really well with them. So I think we'll be able to talk to them and get this done."

Outdoor Retailer is counting on it at this point, using it’s clout to help shape a relationship with Salt Lake City for at least the next five years.

Outdoor Retailer also requires discounted hotel rooms, airport shuttles, dining and recreation tickets for future shows as part of the -agreement to stay in Salt Lake City.

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