Beehive State Stung
Outdoor recreation retailers are threatening to pull two trade shows out of Utah because they don’t like Gov. Mike Leavitt’s (R) efforts to curtail wilderness designations in the state. With $24 million in trade-show-generated revenue at stake, a worried Leavitt has agreed to meet with outdoor industry leaders to discuss the matter. “The governor is very willing to start talking about where additional wilderness should be located [and] the outdoor retailers are an important stakeholder in this,” said Leavitt spokesperson Natalie Gochnour. Salt Lake City officials and the city’s conventions and vistors’ bureau are also getting nervous about the possibility of losing the outdoor retail shows. “It is hard to overestimate their importance,” said bureau spokesperson Jason Mathis. “In addition to their direct economic impact, they showcase Salt Lake and Utah as the epicenters for outdoor activity [with] the proximity of national forests, canyons, and rivers and other wilderness areas.”
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