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Outdoor Retailer Show Chooses Denver

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Denver has become the new home of the lucrative Outdoor Retailer Show, which fled Utah over disagreements with that state’s policies regarding public lands. At a press conference Thursday announcing the move, Governor John Hickenlooper touted the state’s open spaces as “part of the defining characteristic of Colorado.” The Denver Post reports that under a five-year agreement reached with organizers, the outdoor-industry expo will put on shows in June and November, plus a combined show with SnowSports Industries America in January. The Post reports the events are expected to attract some 85,000 people per year and give a $110 million economic boost to Denver. Salt Lake City had been the outdoor show’s home for more than two decades, but industry leaders soured on Utah after top politicians pushed for downsizing or rescinding both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Many Utah officials also support turning over federal public lands to individual states. In a release, the nonprofit group Conservation Colorado – which had published ads in Utah newspapers touting Colorado as the best home for the show – hailed the move. Conservation Colorado’s wilderness and public lands advocate, Scott Braden, said, “the embrace of public lands is a winning combination for Colorado's economy and way of life.” Braden said the decision to move was “a repudiation of extreme and short-sighted efforts by some politicians to seize and sell off our lands.”

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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