Salt Lake City crashes Outdoor Retailer bid party

SALT LAKE CITY — Though organizers of the Outdoor Retailer trade show have made it clear they won’t be returning to Salt Lake City in 2018, Salt Lake City officials have submitted an unsolicited bid to host the convention.

The city didn’t receive an invitation to bid for the shows this year following retailers’ protests over Utah political leaders’ call for the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument to be reversed.

City officials said they recognize that the political climate complicates Utah’s 20-year relationship with Outdoor Retailer, but they submitted the bid to be prepared in hopes of any political shift.

“We know political winds can change,” Scott Beck, Visit Utah president and chief executive officer, said Thursday. “Since we don’t control political winds, we know it’s in the best interest of (Salt Lake City) to be prepared.”

The Visit Salt Lake board, including Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, met Monday to review the bid.

Beck declined to discuss the proposal because it was submitted in a competitive bidding process that he said includes at least 20 other cities. But he noted that the bid contains commitments from the Sat Palace Convention Center, the hotel community and other support services involved in conventions.

Outdoor Retailer organizers announced in February they’re seeking a “new home” after the Utah Legislature and Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution urging President Donald Trump to rescind Bears Ears.

The move was a blow to the Salt Lake City economy. Thousands of Outdoor Retailer attendees spend an average of $1,019 each in the city, according to an assessment by Visit Salt Lake and the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Each year, the biannual show injects nearly $50 million into the city’s economy.

State lawmakers have shown some interest in wooing the trade show …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

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