The Outdoor Retailers Snow Show Returns to Denver

DENVER — The outdoor retailer’s Snow Show is back in Denver after being postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. The show is notably smaller this year, hosting 350 companies unlike other years when it hosted more than 1,000.

This year, there are also a few notable no-shows. Companies like Patagonia, North Face and Gore-Tex have discontinued production due to corporate COVID-19 policies and the rise of the omicron variant.

But many smaller retailers see it as an opportunity to get noticed. Cory Higgins, the co-founder of New Jersey’s Jetty Coastal Lifestyle Apparel, says face-to-face time at conferences like this is valuable.

“Retailer time has been cannibalized by big brands,” he said. “Having real, meaningful conversations with really important retailers across the country, we can’t do that anywhere else but at this show.”

The show showcased products across the spectrum of outdoor outfitters, from skis and bikes to clothing and RVs. Many smaller brands were able to occupy prime real estate in the showroom when retailers met the brands.

The exhibit brings in tens of millions of dollars for its host city, but COVID-19 has made it more difficult for in-person exhibit halls to operate. Either way, many businesses and retailers claim that the city’s proximity to the outside makes it a prime location.

Denver’s contract with show organizer Emerald Expositions expires this year after Outdoor Retailer’s summer show in June.

“It’s been a great city,” said Marissa Nicholson, show manager for Outdoor Retailer and senior vice president of her management company, Emerald Expositions.

She says the company is reviewing its options regarding future contracts. However, she says Denver is still on the list.

“I think our retailers really like having the show here in Denver,” Nicholson said.

The Outdoor Retailer Snow Show will run until Friday 28 January.

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