Patagonia, REI and Public Lands Threaten to Boycott Outdoor Retailer Show

Diving brief:

  • A group of major outdoor retailers – including Timberland, Patagonia, REI, The North Face and Public Lands – are threatens to boycott the Outdoor Retailer show if moved to Utah, according to a statement by The Conservation Alliance.
  • The retailers said they “would not support or attend a trade show in Utah as long as its elected officials continue attacks on national monuments and the protection of public lands,” adding that Utah “is leading the fight against national monuments and designated public lands”.
  • The $45 million Outdoor Retailer Show was moved out of Utah in 2017 in opposition to the state’s rescinding of national landmark designations for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante and is held since in Denver. Outdoor Retailer said in a statement that it has not made a decision on where the show will take place.

Overview of the dive:

Protecting Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah has been a focus of major outdoor retailers for years, with Patagonia in 2017 replace homepage with a black screen that said “The President stole your land” when President Trump downsized national monuments.

Protections have since been restored under President Biden, but the Conservation Alliance said Monday that Utah’s elected officials are “again preparing to strip these magnificent lands from federal protection” and said they would not attend. not at a trade show in Utah for so long as the state “continues its assault on public lands.”

Utah Governor Spencer Cox posted a video offer last year for the show to return to Salt Lake City, where it had been hosted for 20 years. (The trade show contract with Denver expires this summer.) Colorado executives, meanwhile, have pushed for the show to stay in Denverwith Governor Jared Polis and Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper calling it a “natural home” for the show in a statement on Monday.

“We love the outdoor opportunities Utah has to offer and would consider moving to Salt Lake if we saw a true commitment from state leaders to align with our values ​​and those of the industry. outdoors,” said Todd Spaletto, president of Dick’s Sporting Goods. new Public Lands banner, said in a statement.

Public land was launched last year in order to advocate for environmental causes, and now joins some of the biggest names in the industry to oppose the Outdoor Retailer show. REI, Patagonia and The North Face have known for a long time for their own account support for environmental activism and join more than 30 member companies of The Conservation Alliance in calling on the show to stay out of Utah.

Retailers Ask Outdoor Retailer Show to Stay Out of Utah

“For decades, Patagonia has worked in solidarity with Indigenous communities, local activists, outdoor athletes and businesses in Utah. We love the state and its spectacular cultural and natural landscapes. We were thrilled when President Biden restored the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments last October, and we will oppose any effort to undermine their protection,” Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert said in a statement. “Our position on the location of the Outdoor Retailer show remains clear and unchanged: the show is owned by a state whose senior officials value and seek to protect public lands.”

Outdoor Retailer said Wednesday it was “committed to supporting the outdoor and winter sports industries” and had not decided on a new location for the show.

“We have had ongoing conversations with many in our industry and consider all input and perspectives, including responses to recent surveys – we appreciate the passion and respect everyone’s point of view,” Marisa Nicholson, Vice -Outdoor Retailer’s senior president and show director, said in a statement. “As we continue the process of evaluating all possible and realistic options, we remain thoughtful in our deliberations. Our primary goal is to stage a dynamic event that not only reflects today’s new normal, but presents also an engaging event that draws as much as possible into this community in an authentic and affordable way.”