Outdoor Retailer events head list of Utah's top conventions
“Right now, policymakers are considering devastating budget cuts to public lands funding that could ripple for years and negatively affect the outdoor businesses that depend on them,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, Outdoor Industry Association president and chief executive officer. “It’s more important than ever to make the link between a well-funded and well-managed national outdoor recreation system and the economic contributions that outdoor recreation makes to local communities.”
Last January, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Hugelmeyer's group jointly issued "Utah's Outdoor Recreation Vision," which included a committment by the Outdoor Retailers to keep its conventions in Utah through at least 2016.
The governor's plan included 40 recommendations, including the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation. It also recommended finding ways to increase funding for Utah's state parks. Herbert later gained praise last October for funding and getting Utah's national parks open during the federal government shutdown Oct. 1 through 16.
The Outdoor Industry Association representatives said Utah outdoor recreation fuels economic growth by contributing $12 billion annually to the state’s economy, supporting 122,400 jobs, generating $856 million in annual state and local tax revenues, and producing $3.6 billion annually in state wages and salaries.
According to Visit Salt Lake, total delegate spending for the top 10 conventions of 2013 totaled more than $111.3 million.
The top five conventions all draw in excess of 11,000 attendees and generated at least $10 million in delegate spending.
The Nu Skin International event ranked third last year with 16,100 attendees with delegates spending $14.86 million, followed by the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo which drew almost 13,600 attendees and generated $12.53 million, while the fifth-ranked convention — the doTERRA Annual Meeting — had 11,500 attendees with delegate spending of $10.61 million.
The sixth through tenth-ranked conventions were significantly smaller in scale with between 4,700 attendees to 6,800 attendees while generating between $4.34 million to $6.28 million annually.
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