New outside commerce present to be open to the general public as Colorado goals to be “one of the best state for all issues outside recreation”


The first Big Gear Show was held in August 2021 at the Deer Valley Ski Resort parking lot in Park City, Utah. The event will move to Denver in 2023.
Steve Peterson/Special for The Colorado Sun

DENVER — When the outdoor retail trade show pulled out of Denver this year to return to its longtime home in Utah, Colorado outdoor industry leaders vowed the departure would be a good thing.

The loss of the twice-yearly fairs — which angered brands who had been feuding with Utah politicians over state opposition to expansions of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments — was an opportunity to create a new type of event for the outdoor industry. Conor Hall, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Bureau, suggested that the state might host a business fair that doubled as a consumer-friendly festival; a “South by Southwest” for the outdoor industry and its passionate fans.

The seed of this new event was sown this week when the nascent Big Gear Show announced plans to move from Park City, Utah to downtown Denver alongside the first-ever (e)revolution e-bike show. Next year’s June 8-11 event at the Colorado Convention Center will not only host brands, manufacturers and retailers with two days of business-to-business trade and commerce, but will also open to consumers on the final two days of the event be.

The plan includes an entry fee, outdoor e-bike trails and climbing walls for testing gear, and in a unique partnership with local gear shops, the opportunity to purchase gear on the show floor. Plans are underway for additional events around the convention center to fuel the festival-like atmosphere.

It is the premier business-to-business-to-consumer event for the outdoor industry.