The Outdoor Retailer Winter and Summer Markets will remain in Salt Lake City at least through 2016.
Harotunian says Nielsen and Outdoor Retailer made the decision despite the fact the shows have outgrown the venue and the city—or at least have come close to it—in recent years.
“There is a cultural piece to the venue question,” Harotunian says. “That’s important to people.
He cited the fact that attendees at Outdoor Retailer like to get together with one another after the show in the late afternoon and evening and downtown Salt Lake City is conducive to that. Harotunian also noted the proximity to outdoor areas where attendees can take advantage of the kinds of equipment they see at the show in town.
“The proximity of snow and rock and river and water is valuable, and nowhere else comes close,” he says.
Local officials announced they would provide, at no charge, a 150,000-square-foot tent near the convention center for additional exhibit space.
In a statement, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says: “We are earnest in our desire to keep the show in Utah beyond 2016, even permanently.”
Nielsen had been considering a move to either Denver or Las Vegas after its contract with Salt Lake ends in 2014. While, as Harotunian says, Salt Lake is popular with exhibitors and attendees, both cities have more hotel rooms available for the show that continues to grow.