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Trade Shows & Events

15 ways Denver nailed Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show

We polled our staff to hear what they thought about the show's new home at Denver's Colorado Convention Center.

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As always, it was a crazy, whirlwind, exhausting, exhilarating week at the show. For us at SNEWS, along with all our colleagues at Boulder-based Active Interest Media (including BACKPACKER, SKI, Climbing, Warren Miller Films and Entertainment, and Catapult Creative Labs), one thing is for sure: We liked having the show on our own home turf. But it goes beyond that.

Combined, our crew has so many outdoor and snowsports trade shows under its belt that it’s just impossible to tally, but suffice it to say it’s many thousands. Salt Lake felt like a second home to many of us after 20 years, but change is a good thing.

We polled our staff to find out what they liked about the new venue. Here’s a sampling of their comments.

“Everything about the vibe indicated that Denver wanted us to be there. They were totally inclusive.”

Denver Outdoor Retailer
Kristin Hostetter

“The airport greeters were a nice touch: Friendly, fleece-clad people with signs were on hand to answer our questions about price, travel time, and convenience of airport transportation options.

“No more stinky waterless urinals in the mens’ rooms.”

“Really friendly and helpful convention center staff.”

Denver Outdoor Retailer
Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan took a break between cranking out pages for The Daily to feed 5-month old Sam in the comfort of the Clif-sponsored mothers’ room.Lauren Danilek

“A kick-ass Mothers’ Room complete with leather massage chairs, free fruit and Clif Bars, coolers to ship milk home, greenery, and toys (though sponsor Clif Bar really gets credit for that, not Denver.)”

“I was always greeted with a smile and a cheery ‘good morning’ every day when I walked in, and security and the staff working on the floor were all pleasant and helpful with people who were trying to find their way around.”

“Diverse and plentiful dining and entertainment options that are conveniently located around the Convention Center. No big crowds or jockeying for reservations or competing for tables at Naked Fish or Bambara. The city absorbed us seemingly effortlessly.”

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“The grid layout of the upper level made finding booths much easier. It felt like a city grid, and once I got oriented I could easily direct people to an area based on booth number.”

“The food truck spread was wonderfully varied and conveniently located.”

“The folks wearing the “can I help you?” shirts were awesome!”

“The compost/zero waste stations all over the place were awesome!”

“The building itself is great. The glass/sunlight at either end is super when you spend the whole day inside.”

“Denver’s varied neighborhoods meant you could get a change of scenery more easily.”

“Water bottle refill stations were everywhere.”

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“From my hotel room door to the security line at DIA in 45 minutes flat, all on public transit and for 9 bucks. It used to be easy in Salt Lake, too, but I was expecting it to be more of a “deal session’ in Denver, but they surprised me with their efficiency.”