A record 21,000 visitors are expected to fill hotels and restaurants to near capacity in Salt Lake City this week for what appears to be the largest Outdoor Retailer Winter Market ever staged, according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune.
The not-open-to-the-public show connects buyers from outdoor specialty stores with more than 900 manufacturers from around the world.
The show opens Wednesday (Jan. 18) with a demo day at the Solitude Ski Resort, then begins a four-day Thursday-through-Sunday run at the Salt Palace. The Winter show and its summer counterpart, which have been staged in Salt Lake City since 1996, are typically Utah’s largest conventions. The Winter Market is expected to generate close to $20 million for the area economy.
“We are expecting an attendance uptick,” said show manager Kenji Haroutunian. “We can see hotel registration numbers are coming in quite strong. There will be 273 new exhibitors at the show. This is the biggest Winter Market ever staged, even without much snow.”
New this year is a confluence between Outdoor Retailer and the Sundance Film Festival, which also opens this weekend, as well as the fact that snowboarding giant Burton will attend the Winter Market for the first time.
In conjunction with the event, several seminars conducted by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) are slated at the Salt Lake City Marriott. The schedule includes:
7-9 a.m.: OIA Industry Breakfast, presented by The North Face: The Greening of Business – Pathways to Stronger and Smarter Company Performance. Keynote Speaker: Andrew Winston, Founder of Winston Eco-Strategies and co-author of Green to Gold.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Beyond the Eco Index: Innovation in the Wool Supply Chain – Focus on Processing
Noon to 1:30 p.m.: The Retail Realities of Winter Apparel – What Customers Want and What They’re Buying
1:30-3 p.m.: Can You “Make It in America?”
10-11:30 a.m.: The Dollars Dating Game – How Outdoor Companies Find and Maintain a Credit Companion Today
Noon to 1:30 p.m.: Training Sucks (And It Can Suck the Life Out of Your Business)
Noon to 1:30 p.m.: Beyond the Eco Index: Status Report on the Down Supply Chain
6-8 p.m.: OIA Outdoor Inspiration Awards Celebration presented by adidas Outdoor
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Outdoor Investment Idol – Equity Judges Debate What’s Cool to Invest In and Why