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Press Releases

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance withdraws from Utah, will relocate 2018 Connect trade show

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the national network of independent specialty retailers, announced today the withdrawal of their four-day Connect trade show from a proposed location in Sandy, Utah for Summer 2018.

Grassroots’ decision stems from broad membership opposition to Utah’s ongoing efforts to reduce and reclaim public lands for local development, as well as the state’s dismissal of the economic value of outdoor recreation on those public lands.

“It’s unlikely that there’s a bigger issue out there for Grassroots members and partners than preservation and access to public lands. The outdoor community spends millions of dollars collectively each year to create and protect open spaces for outdoor recreation, and the aggressive stance of Utah’s elected officials on this front has our membership pretty fired up,” said Rich Hill, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance President.

Instead of Sandy, Utah, the June 2018 Grassroots Connect show will “co-locate” with Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at their new venue as determined in their current search process, pending alignment of dates.

Other upcoming events for Grassroots Outdoor Alliance will be held as planned, including Summit & Connect in Albuquerque, N.M. (June 12-16, 2017); and Connect in Knoxville, Tenn. (November 7-10, 2017).

“Grassroots is working closely with Outdoor Retailer and Outdoor Industry Association on their change-of-venue process. They’ve been strong partners, and have been great about communication and collaboration since their venue search began,” said Devaki Murch, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Event Manager. “They’re listening to the needs of specialty retail and engaging the Grassroots team in key decisions – which is essential as we move toward an industry calendar that’s both efficient and beneficial for the entire outdoor industry.”

The idea to “co-locate” Grassroots Connect near the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show was unveiled last summer, and was scheduled to begin in 2018 in Sandy, Utah.

The variety of benefits from “co-locating” the two independent shows include providing Grassroots retailers, vendor partners and reps with substantial financial and marketing efficiencies, as well as delivering a broad industry perspective that benefits each individual business.

In addition, gathering Grassroots and Outdoor Retailer attendees in a single venue increases the chances for the engaging the entire outdoor industry on major topics.

“Trade shows are obviously a big part of outdoor industry life. And while they’re important to everyone’s bottom line, the big opportunity is to use our gatherings to come together as an industry to recognize – and address — the headwinds that we are all facing,” said Hill.

ABOUT GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE: Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is an active, independent network of more than 63 independent retailers working together for the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail. Through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialty events and deep vendor partnerships, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is creating both a vision and roadmap for the long-term success of independent specialty retail. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance member services include collectively negotiated programming, special marketing collaborations, exclusive product introductions, and early access to closeout opportunities. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is also recognized as a catalyst for the success of its retailers and vendor partners; an advocate for specialty independent retail; a promoter of education and community within the specialty channel; and a key influencer of the national outdoor industry. For more information on Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, please go to

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT: Grassroots Connect is an ideally timed, invitation-only buying show for the specialty outdoor industry hosted by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Scheduled as early as possible in the buying cycle, Connect provides a highly efficient opportunity for retailers, reps and vendors to present, discuss, plan and collect pre-season orders. Cost-effective and simple, Connect is both an incubator and testing ground for the greater outdoor industry. Invited retailers receive a per attendee reimbursement to offset their travel costs. Future confirmed dates include Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 12-16, 2017; and Knoxville, Tennessee, Nov. 7-10, 2017. To request a retailer or vendor invitation, please go to