"Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Photo by Michael Hanson."
Outside Business Journal

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Announces Withdrawal from Utah

Grassroots remains united with Outdoor Retailer and Outdoor Industry Association and withdraws its 2018 Connect show from Sandy, Utah

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Grassroots Outdoor Alliance will not hold an event in Sandy, Utah in 2018 as planned, the organization has announced.

Grassroots’ decision to withdraw is twofold, according to President Rich Hill.

“Our membership is unanimous in opposing Utah’s public lands policy,” he said. He also cites his organization’s desire to stay together as an industry. “The best idea that we’ve come away from the last year with is co-location with Outdoor Retailer. It’s critical that we work together as an industry.”

Outdoor Retailer announced last month that it will not be returning to Utah, its home for two decades, because it does not see eye to eye with governor Gary Herbert on the protection of public lands, including the designation of Bears Ears National Monument.

“It’s unlikely that there’s a bigger issue out there for Grassroots members and partners than preservation and access to public lands,” Hill said. “The outdoor community spends millions of dollars collectively each year to create and protect open spaces for outdoor recreation, and the aggressive stance of Utah’s elected officials on this front has our membership pretty fired up.”

The June 2018 Grassroots Connect show will co-locate with Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at their new venue, as determined by their current search process.

The variety of benefits from “co-locating” the two independent shows include providing Grassroots retailers, vendor partners, and reps with substantial financial and marketing efficiencies, as well as delivering a broad industry perspective that benefits each individual business.

“Co-location makes so much sense for our retail members,” said Hill. “It essentially saves retailers six to eight days per year on travel.”

That’s six to eight more days they can be in their stores selling.

“Trade shows are obviously a big part of outdoor industry life,” Hill said. “And while they’re important to everyone’s bottom line, the big opportunity is to use our gatherings to come together as an industry to recognize—and address—the headwinds that we are all facing.”

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