Why Patagonia Withdrew From Utah's Outdoor Retailer Show

Patagonia has arguably been one of the most outspoken companies to protest Trump’s decision to shrink two of Utah’s national monuments, Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Bears Ears National Monument was ultimately cut down by nearly 85%, while Grand Staircase-Escalante was cut to about half its original size. Patagonia expressed their frustration with the President’s decision by posting an impressionable message on their website, Twitter, and Instagram that read “The President Stole Your Land.”

Along with a legal lawsuit against the Trump Administration, Patagonia announced that they would also drop out of the Outdoor Retailer show if it continued to be held in Utah. This decision was based on the fact that Utah Governor, Gary Herbert, was one of the primary supporters of this decision and signed a resolution with the Trump Administration, encouraging the President to shrink the two national monuments.

Patagonia CEO, Rose Marcario, explains “Because of the hostile environment they have created and their blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer Show in Utah.” Following Patagonia’s protests, a handful of other major companies decided to drop out as well, and eventually, Outdoor Retailer decided to relocate out of Utah altogether.

Outdoor Retailer is one of the biggest trade shows in America, and brings a huge tourist base following that benefits local shops, restaurants, and hotels in Salt Lake. In past years, Outdoor Retailer has brought a nearly 55% growth in sales for downtown restaurants.

While politicians like Gary Herbert are trying to cut huge portions of public land from Utah, Utah legislators need to remember the economic benefits that the outdoor recreation industry brings to this state. $12 billion are earned just in consumer spending, and 122,000 jobs are created around outdoor recreation. Utah also needs to remember that our national monuments are what make this state so unique and beautiful in the first place, and cutting them down in size should not be a concern of the Trump Administration.