Economy

Outdoor Retailer Show Will Pump $20 Million Into Salt Lake Economy

An infusion of $20 million is about to hit Salt Lake City as about 21,000 visitors to the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market come to town.

(KCPW News)  An infusion of $20 million is about to hit Salt Lake City as about 21,000 visitors to the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market come to town.  The show begins tomorrow at the Salt Palace Convention Center.  Visit Salt Lake president and CEO Scott Beck says each visitor will spend an average of $923.

“One-third of all the money is spent on restaurants.  One third of all the monies are spent on hotels.  So those are clearly the two biggest beneficiaries, the restaurant and the hotel community,” says Beck.  “The other third is sort of split between transportation, shopping, various and sundry other things that people do while they are here in town.”

Beck says the weekend is presenting a perfect storm for the hotel industry with both the Outdoor Retailer Convention and Sundance Film Festival happening at the same time.  He says the majority of hotels from South Davis County through Salt Lake County and into Summit County are sold out.

There has been recent concern from the Outdoor Industry Association that the convention has outgrown Salt Lake City.  Beck says while the possibility exists that the convention could move to a larger market, they are working with the trade show owner and the outdoor industry to figure out the future of the show:

“Is it a multiple venue show?  What are the options that are available?  And so we are doing that right now, we’ll be engaged in those discussions through May and June of this year,” says Beck.  “And I think it is everyone’s hope that sometime before the August show of 2012 that we have a really good sense of what the future beyond 2014 will look like.”

The show is booked in Salt Lake City through the summer market convention of 2014.  The University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research estimates that outdoor recreation annually contributes $5.8 billion dollars to the state’s economy.

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