Outdoor Trade Shows

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market '10: Open Air Demo sets tone for high-energy show

The high energy of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market began Aug. 2 with the Open Air Demo where stand-up paddling overwhelmed kayaks and other paddlers in the water. Read the SNEWS take from our editors on the scene.

The high energy of Summer Market began Aug. 2 with the Open Air Demo, which took a step up with the move from Pineview Reservoir to Jordanelle State Park, which lies southeast of Salt Lake City. Shuttles still had to make a long drive to reach Jordanelle (about 50 minutes), but the route to Jordanelle followed I-80, which sees much less morning and afternoon traffic than I-15.

The state park itself was beautiful, with a large reservoir nestled beneath rolling green hills. Outdoor Retailer show director Kenji Haroutunian told SNEWS® that he chose the new location partly because it had much more shoreline than Pineview, and exhibitors told SNEWS they appreciated the additional elbow room. Visitors also appreciated that Jordanelle had better restrooms, more cell reception, and pavilions where you could take a break to eat and enjoy shade from time to time.

The level of activity at this year’s demo also seemed to exceed previous years, partly because there were 98 exhibiting companies, a 40-percent increase over the previous year, according to Haroutunian. Also giving the event a shot in the arm was the increased presence of stand-up paddling. More than a dozen exhibitors offered stand-up paddleboards, and there was a handful of organized SUP demos and races, as well as an appearance by SUP legend Laird Hamilton. As SNEWS wrote in the Aug. 3 Morning Report , stand-up paddling really stole the show at the Demo, as the number of people on boards overwhelmed the number of people in kayaks. (Click here to read the full report on stand-up paddling in the Day 1 SNEWS Morning Report and see lots of fun photos too taken from the Open Air Demo – did you make the pages of SNEWS? )

What was missing this year were opportunities for whitewater paddling and climbing, and Haroutunian said he is still researching whether something might be possible near Jordanelle. Also, the trail system at the park was not as developed as the system at Pineview, but Trail Runner magazine and Columbia Sportswear drew 75 participants for a trail run at the Demo, and Haroutunian said it’s also possible to enhance trail sports opportunities at Jordanelle.

–Marcus Woolf