Interbike Removes Salt Lake City as an Option for 2018 in Response to State of Utah’s Public Lands Stance

Utah company Flat Attack is one of many exhibitors at Interbike, which today announced that they won't consider Salt Lake City as an option for future shows due to the State of Utah's stance on public lands. Photo by Dave Iltis
Utah company Flat Attack is one of many exhibitors at Interbike, which today announced that they won’t consider Salt Lake City as an option for future shows due to the State of Utah’s stance on public lands. Photo by Dave Iltis

February 16, 2017 – Interbike today announced that they are removing Salt Lake City from consideration for the relocation of the industry’s trade show. The move comes in response to Governor Herbert’s stance on public lands and the State’s request to revoke the Bear’s Ears National Monument and reduce the size of the Grand Staircase National Monument. The tie between the two is that the show’s owners, Emerald Expositions, also own Outdoor Retailer, the twice annual outdoor industry trade show that has been in Salt Lake City for many years.

Interbike has been looking for a new location starting in 2018, and Utah had been one of the top 4 choices; the other 3 are Las Vegas (where the show currently takes place), Denver, Colorado, and Anaheim, California. A survey was sent to the bicycle industry and bicycle shops this winter. According to a statement made to Bicycle Retailer, Denver and Salt Lake City were the two leading candidates for hosting the trade show in 2018. Hus told Bicycle Retailer, “Denver is in the lead (among retailers). There is the perception that it will be a good place for the show. There is more to the picture that we have to consider when it comes to costs and the outdoor demo and other issues. Denver and Salt Lake City want our business in a big way,” he said.

In a February 16, 2017 press release, Interbike stated:

Today officials from Emerald Expositions (parent company to Interbike and Outdoor Retailer) met via teleconference with Utah Governor Herbert. In light of the outcome of the call today, and the ongoing debate over the issue of public land use, Interbike will not include the state of Utah in the RFP process for future show locations.

“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.”

Darrell Denny, EVP Emerald Expositions, further commented: “Emerald Expositions will also not extend the request for proposal to Utah for relocating the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow.”

Visit Salt Lake – the group that books trade shows at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, has been working on getting the show to Salt Lake City diligently. Cycling Utah asked Scott Beck about the show prior to today’s announcement about why Interbike should choose Salt Lake City. Beck stated, “Salt Lake is a great place for trade show organizers to do business. InterBike is owned by Emerald Expositions, the same owner of the Outdoor Retailer Markets that stage in Salt Lake each summer and winter. The organizers know Salt Lake, they love the Salt Palace Convention Center and the exhibitors love our right to work state and all that comes with our incredibly accessible airport, and the way our community welcomes conventions (think big fish little pond kind of stuff), combine all of the business reasons with an incredibly bicycle friendly city, Salt Lake becomes a very viable destination for the InterBike trade show.” Beck also said that the show would have contributed at least $18 million in direct spending to Utah’s economy.

Interbike had 22,802 attendees in 2015 and over 1400 brands at the show. With an approximate expenditure of $942 per person by attendees to Utah trade shows, this represents about $21.5 million in direct spending that Utah will potentially lose from just the Interbike show alone. The total between the three shows is approximately $66 million.

Outdoor Retailer has been vocal about the recent stance of Utah’s governmental leadership on public lands. The Governor and Legislature have put forth a resolution to the federal government asking that the new Bear’s Ears National Monument be dissolved. Outdoor Retailer responded today after a teleconference with the Governor with the following statement:

Outdoor Retailer Responds to Meeting with Utah Governor Herbert

Today officials from Outdoor Retailer, Outdoor Industry Association, Patagonia, The North Face and REI met via teleconference with Utah Governor Herbert. In light of the outcome of the call today, Outdoor Retailer will not include the state of Utah in the RFP process for future show locations.

“We are doing the work necessary to procure an alternative location for Outdoor Retailer,” said Marisa Nicholson, show director for Outdoor Retailer. “Though we may wish it different, this is far from a snap of the fingers thing to make happen. Convention centers and hotels are not sitting idle. In every instance at every potential venue, there are hurdles that have to be cleared and that simply cannot be done overnight. We expect that our current proposal process, which we initiated before any of the company withdrawal announcements last week, will take between 60 and 90 days. Salt Lake City has been hospitable to Outdoor Retailer and our industry for the past 20 years, but we are in lockstep with the outdoor community and are working on finding
our new home.”

Darrell Denny, EVP Emerald Expositions, further commented: “Emerald Expositions will also not extend the request for proposal to Utah for relocating the Interbike tradeshow.”

Outdoor Retailer is the only gathering where the entire industry comes together to conduct commerce, share best practices and exchange ideas. There is no other event where the most respected iconic brands and retailers – large, medium and small in size – show up “en force.” Our industry has a unique, maybe even singular, opportunity to coalesce, organize, speak and lay plans to make a difference around public land awareness in such a way that it is not only heard but that it can make a positive difference and we urge you to be part of this movement at Summer Market.

To find out more, please visit unity.outdoorretailer.com.

The departure of Outdoor Retailer, along with the removal of Salt Lake as an option for Interbike, will cost Utah at least $66.5 million in direct spending. 

According to Pat Hus, show director, the 2017 show will be held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from September 20-23. An announcement on the 2018 show is expected in the next 60 days.

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