New outdoor trade show to be open to the public as Colorado aims to be “the best state for all things outdoor recreation”

The Big Gear Show will combine with the (e)revolution e-bike trade show in June 2023 for the outdoor industry’s first-ever business-to-business-to-consumer event

Jason Blevins
Colorado Sun
A new tradeshow is coming to Denver, filling a void left by Outdoor Retailer, pictured here in 2020, which left Colorado for Utah earlier this year.
File photo

When the Outdoor Retailer trade show pulled out of Denver this year to return to its longtime home in Utah, Colorado’s outdoor industry leaders promised the departure would be a good thing.

The loss of the twice-a-year trade shows — which irked brands that have been battling with Utah politicians over the state’s opposition to expansions of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments — was an opportunity to create a new type of event for the outdoor industry. Conor Hall, the director of Colorado’s outdoor recreation office, suggested maybe the state could host a business trade show that also worked as a consumer-friendly festival; a “South by Southwest” for the outdoor industry and its passionate fans. 

The seed of that new event was planted this week as the nascent Big Gear Show announced plans to move from Park City, Utah, to downtown Denver alongside the first-ever (e)revolution e-bike trade show. The June 8-11 event at the Colorado Convention Center next year will host not just brands, manufacturers and retailers with two days of business-to-business wheeling and dealing, but will open to consumers for the final two days of the event.

The plan includes an entry fee, outdoor trails for e-bikes and climbing walls for testing equipment and, in a unique partnership with local gear shops, the ability to buy gear on the show floor. Plans are underway for ancillary events around the convention center to help feed the festival-like vibe. 

It’s the first “business-to-business-to-consumer” event for the outdoor industry.

“This is bigger than just the concept of trying to replace the Outdoor Retailer show,” Hall said. “This is our push, with Gov. Polis, to make sure that Colorado is the gathering place for this diverse industry.”


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