May 19, 2017
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Outdoor Retailer owner offers $16.7 million in bid for Snow Show

May 19, 2017

Emerald Expositions, owner of Outdoor Retailer (OR), has offered to buy the Snow Show, an annual apparel and equipment trade show for snowsports, in a $16.7 million bid to find a home for OR.

SIA Snow Show

Yesterday Snowsports Industries America (SIA), owner of the SIA Snow Show, sent its 1,000 members a letter announcing a deal had been reached between it and Emerald and asking for member approval.

SIA's letter explained of the acquisition, "As many have pointed out, this is a natural evolution. 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.”

Since OR is a huge show drawing 40,000 attendees, the Snow Show will double its footprint with a combined show growing from 236,000 square feet to 500,000 square feet. The Snow Show is committed to Denver until 2030 and currently takes place at the Colorado Convention Center.

Trade shows have taken a marketing and cultural approach with more focus now on experience and education than actual purchasing. As part of the deal, the Snow Show would continue to host its two day product demo at Copper Mountain where attendees can ski and board while trying out new product.

From a logistic standpoint, OR is currently homeless and needed to make a move fast. It declared it was pulling out of its 20 year home in Salt Lake City after the Utah government took measures against protecting the environment.

Specifically, when the government and lobbyists aligned with President Trump on rescinding protection of the Bear Ears and Grand Staircase - Escalante regions, many key participants and brands including activist Patagonia said they were going to back out of the event.

Changing venue was critical for OR. It generates $45 million per year in the local economy and would face immense losses if it stayed in Utah.

Under the contract, the combined show will be called the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show presented by SIA and OIA. It will take place in Denver in late January 2018 when the Snow Show would previously have taken place. If approved by SIA members, the contract will be signed on May 24.


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