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REPORT: Outdoor Retailer to Potentially buy SIA, Call Denver Home

Downtown Denver may soon be the home of "The Outdoor Retailer Snow Show." Paul Sableman photo.

DENVER — If preliminary agreements are any indication, it looks as if Denver, Colorado, has all-but secured the Outdoor Retailer (OR) shows into the foreseeable future.

According to a report published Friday in The Denver Post, Snowsports Industries America (SIA), is in buyout talks with Emerald Expositions, the main stakeholder in the infamous (and currently semi-homeless) Outdoor Retailer trade shows. 

Up until recently, the lucrative summer and winter Outdoor Retailer shows were held in Salt Lake City, but parent company Emerald Expositions decided to leave the municipality earlier this year over Utah’s continued lobbying to rescind land protections for the Bears Ears and Escalante National Monuments.

Still not a done deal, SIA sent a letter to its members Thursday explaining the premise of the $16.7M acquisition, and how it will eventually help them merge with Emerald to form the “Outdoor Retailer Snow Show” that will take the place of SIA’s existing show in late January.

“Emerald has the ability to bring together the outdoor and snow sports industries under one roof. As many have pointed out, this is a natural evolution,” the letter states. “The two industries have much in common and the overlap is becoming increasingly more and more evident: sharing retailers, reps, manufacturing resources, supply chain management, sustainability endeavors and the end consumer.”

The potential deal came about as Denver eyed the Outdoor Retailer shows and sought a way to bring them to the Front Range. But SIA was already contracted through 2030 under a non-compete clause, thereby preventing OR from having the ability to set up a mid-winter show in direct competition with SIA. Entering into a collaborative buyout arrangement, it appears, may be the best path forward for both organizations.

The new show will potentially debut in January 2018. The deal would expand the show’s current footprint of 236,000 sq. feet to over 500,000 sq. feet.

That much room, according to one anonymous source, can hold “a shit-ton of skis.” 

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