OGDEN -- The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has selected the Ogden Eccles Conference Center as the location of its 2011 summer retail show set for June 13-17.
The Ogden/Weber Convention & Visitors Bureau and the conference center will host more than 200 independent outdoor industry retailers, vendors and suppliers during the five-day event.The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is made up of independent outdoor retail businesses throughout the country.
Snowbird Ski Resort, outside of Salt Lake City, previously hosted the convention, but the event has become too big for that venue, said Dawson Wheeler, chairman of the Grassroots Outdoor Vendor Alliance's Vendor Committee.
Roanne Miller, president of the Grassroots Vendor Alliance, said Ogden is a good fit for the convention.
"Ogden is focused on becoming a town known for its outdoor sports community, and organizations like Grassroots have a common interest and investment in outdoor recreation that dovetails with the efforts of the city, county and the convention and visitors bureau," she said in a prepared statement. "Providing outdoor opportunities is also important to Grassroots, so the city's close proximity to the mountains was a key factor in our decision-making process."
The convention will benefit the area's hotels, restaurants, attractions, retail establishments and other businesses, organizers say.
Sara Toliver, president of the Ogden/Weber Convention & Visitors Bureau, said in a news release that the city's development of outdoor and high-adventure recreation was key to landing the conference. "Our area's beautiful surroundings and attractions will provide a perfect environment for (product) demos," she said.
Also coming to Utah is the Outdoor Retailers Winter Market. About 18,000 people are expected to attend the event, providing millions of dollars in direct economic benefit to Utah.
The convention starts today with a demonstration of new equipment at Solitude Ski Resort.
The convention will move to the Salt Palace Convention Center on Thursday and run through Sunday.
A University of Utah study says the convention brings in more than $16 million to the state. When combined with the larger summer convention, the combined benefit of the Outdoor Retailers is $40 million.
Last summer, The Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau signed an agreement to keep the Outdoor Retailers markets in Salt Lake City through 2014.
The Associated Press also contributed to this article.