The latest from the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show 2023

If you attended the Outdoor Retailer (OR) show in its heyday, seeing it now can be rather disheartening. Gone are the days where virtually every possible space of the Salt Palace Convention Center was covered with exhibitor booths, when some 20,000 outdoor professionals would crowd the aisles, and one would navigate the show floor by finding free breakfasts, dozens of happy hours (which all started promptly at 4 P.M.), and the best ‘swag’ possible. You’d then follow up a very long trade show day with brand-hosted parties that often brought in national talent (even acts as big as the Black Eyed Peas) and lasted far into the night.

While many of my longtime outdoor industry friends maligned OR this year, I took a fresh perspective and looked at it like it was a brand-new show. I also asked nearly every brand that I met with how the show was going for them and, almost universally, they said that while they were nervous to come in and exhibit, it had been a very positive show with great conversations all around. Most said that, as the industry has changed, shifted, and morphed, that there weren’t as many buyers there as there once were but that they’d had many positive conversations, particularly around partnerships and with media…

Read the full story on the OWAA blog.

‘Chez’ Chesak is an award-winning travel writer, tourism consultant and 25-year veteran of the outdoor and travel industries. He is Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and formerly was the Vice President for Business Development for the Adventure Travel Trade Association and Executive Director of the Family Travel Association. He has been serious about his writing since about age eight. He also runs the Central States Chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers. He’s lived all over the U.S. and traveled to some 36 countries but has the most fun when he’s exploring with his wife and two daughters. An avid outdoors person, he’s happiest on a trail, on skis, or nestled into a sleeping bag. He deployed to Iraq with a U.S. Army line unit in 2005. His works have appeared in the Los Angeles Times,, Good Housekeeping, Rachel Ray Every Day, Fatherly, Yahoo Travel, Family Vacation Critic, and many others. He also does periodic travel segments for the morning show of his local FOX affiliate and on American Forces Radio.

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