Outdoor Retailer Show

The Outdoor Retailer trade show is shown Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Salt Lake City.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—Vendors selling hiking apparel, e-bikes, zippers and other outdoor gear gathered in Utah this week for what has long been one of the country’s largest trade shows catering to the recreation industry, marking its return to the deeply Republican state after a four-year boycott over its land management stances.

Though organizers decided to move the twice yearly event back to Utah, many large ski and apparel brands skipped it, pointing to a confluence of factors including politics and changing industry dynamics. Notably absent were industry heavyweights such as Patagonia, The North Face and REI, which signed onto a letter asking trade show organizers not to return to Utah.

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