Thursday, August 02, 2012

Outdoor Industry Association Throws Down the Gaunlet - Updated

Herbert told: Change environmental course or trade show will leave
We’re going to lose this convention because of a political stunt.
Jim Dabakis, Chairman of the Utah Democratic Party
Standard-Examiner: An ultimatum
August 2, 2012
[They're] killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
Peter Metcalf, CEO/President of Black Diamond Equipment
SLTrib: Outdoor rec industry lashes out at Utah’s public lands policy
August 2, 2012

Both the Standard-Examiner and the Salt Lake Tribune report this morning that Utah government's right wing extremist political policy is on a collision course with Utah's economic interests, as the Outdoor Industry Association, the fifteen-year host of Salt Lake City's Outdoor Retailer Show, "one of the world’s largest outdoor gear trade shows, is threatening to pull their biannual expo from Salt Lake City if Utah’s governor doesn’t change course on environmental issues":
"It is disappointing that Utah — a place that draws outdoor businesses and enthusiasts alike — has not had a collaborative policy relationship with the outdoor industry."  Instead, at least recently, "the industry is often surprised and frustrated" by Utah's public lands policy, Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of the OIA says.

And yes folks, this is a very big deal for the Utah's economic well being, inasmuch as this gigantic trade show "draws more than 25,000 people and injects more than $40 million into the Utah economy annually," according to the S-E story.

It'll be fascinating to see how this story plays out on the cusp of the 2012 General election, as Governor Herbert sweats out Mr. Hugelmeyer's 30-day ultimatum, no?

Update 8/3/12 9:15 a.m.:  Informative followup story from the SLTrib's Judy Fahys, fleshing out the Outdoor Industry Association's issues... and introducing "sagebrush rebellion pushback" from Utah legislative "throwback" West Valley City's Rep. Fred Cox:

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