By ALAN SNEL
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is recruiting one of the outdoor sports trade show gems — the Outdoor Retailer show — to Las Vegas.
The LVCVA wants to pounce on the Outdoor Retailer show because that trade show recently left its longtime home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Emerald Expositions, the show’s owner that also puts on the Bicycle Retailer show in Las Vegas in September, decided to pull out and is looking elsewhere.
“As with any show seeking a host location, we are happy to provide information on Las Vegas as a possible site. We would review any opportunity that may arise to determine if we would be able to bring a new show to the destination,” said Jeremy Handel, LVCVA senior director of communications.
The Outdoor Industry Association, which works very closely with the outdoor recreation show, said it did not like Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s policies on protecting public lands.
To give the LVCVA an edge on recruiting Outdoor Retailer to Las Vegas, the agency — and its PR agency, R & R, — reached out to outdoor sports PR specialist Stephanie Forte of Las Vegas to get advice on attracting the show.
Forte, an experienced rock climber and hiker, worked with the LVCVA to recommend outdoor leaders in the Las Vegas market to be in a promotional video that was created in attempt to entice Outdoor Retailer to re-locate to Las Vegas.
“The people that I suggested are leaders in the local outdoor community who would best shape the story of Las Vegas being an ideal location for Outdoor Retailer and showcase that our values are aligned with those of the outdoor industry,” Forte said.
Forte recommended showcasing everything from the Lee Canyon ski center to the Silence of Savasana yoga events as part of the LVCVA pitch.
Forte also suggested the LVCVA get in touch with outdoor leader Heather Fisher of Blue Diamond. Interestingly enough, Fisher has been the public face of the Save Red Rock movement, which opposes developer Jim Rhodes’ plan to build some 5,000 homes in the Red Rock Canyon area.
The LVCVA cannot take a political position against the Red Rock area proposed housing development because it’s a public agency.
The Las Vegas area’s outdoor resources attract everyone from marathon runners and triathletes to rock climbers and cyclists. With natural attractions such as Red Rock Canyon, Mount Charleston, Lake Mead and Valley of Fire, the Vegas market is becoming a tourist destination for eco-tourists and athletes who pour millions of dollars into the local economy.
Las Vegas hosted more than 6.3 million convention visitors last year and vies with other major cities across the country for the lucrative trade show dollar.