OR Pushes For Expansion Of SLC, Denver Convention Centers

Outdoor Retailer is petitioning for both SLC and Denver to expand their convention centers in order to better accommodate the trade show, which could potentially be held in either city in 2013, according to a story on The Denver Post:

Denver’s 584,000-square-foot Colorado Convention Center is well below the minimum of 900,000 square feet of exhibit space that Outdoor Retailer organizers require for a new venue, so Denver has proposed splitting the show into separate locations, using possibly the Pepsi Center parking lots or the National Western Complex.

Salt Lake City, which is fighting to keep the biggest trade show in its history, also is proposing splitting the show into separate venues. Currently, more than 500 exhibitors who are unable to squeeze into the 510,600-square-foot Salt Palace Convention Center operate under tents outside the hall during the event.

Salt Lake’s proposal doesn’t sit well with Kenji Haroutunian, the outdoor-industry veteran in charge of Outdoor Retailer for the 37-show Nielsen Expositions.

“I’m not sure two separate venues will work for us,” Haroutunian said.

So Haroutunian is asking Salt Lake and Denver to expand their convention centers to host the trade show. Other potential hosts on the shortlist — Las Vegas; Anaheim, Calif.; and Orlando, Fla. — have ample room but lack the outdoor culture and play-is-pivotal vibe of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show.