What started in an open letter from Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard has slowly evolved into a movement that ended this week with the announcement that Outdoor Retailer is pulling out of Utah, effective immediately.
The state boycott is the result of a number of Utah republicans wanting to undo Obama’s ‘national monument’ designation for the culturally and environmentally significant “Bears Ears” in southeastern Utah.
“It is clear that the governor indeed has a different perspective on the protections of public lands from that of our members and the majority of Western state voters, both Republicans and Democrats – that’s bad for our American heritage, and it’s bad for our businesses. We are therefore continuing our search for a new home as soon as possible.” – Outdoor Industry Association
In what is being considered an unproductive call with republican Governor, Gary Herbert, the Outdoor Industry Association indicated in a press release that what they heard was more of the same lip-service.
Having failed to address the public lands and conservation concerns of the outdoor industry and Utah’s massive population of outdoorsmen, the event organizers said they will begin looking at public-land friendly states in which to host the trade show in the future. “It is important to our membership, and to our bottom line that we partner with states and elected officials who share our views on the truly unique American value of public lands for the people and conserving our outdoor heritage for the next generation,” said Amy Roberts of the Outdoor Industry Association. People are already speculating that Denver, Portland, and San Fransisco could be among the favorites for the coming year.
In the meantime, Utah is projected to lose out on nearly $45 million dollars of revenue generated by the show annually– so they got that going for them…
Find the entire press release here: Outdoor Industry, Governor Herbert Disagree on Public Lands Protections, Utah’s Recreation Economy