Denver lures SnowSports trade show |

Denver lures SnowSports trade show

Kimberly Nicoletti
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” In January, 2010, the largest convention booking in Denver’s history is slated to take place.

The SnowSports Industries America SnowSports Trade Show will move from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to the Colorado Convention Center, located in downtown Denver.

The four-day event, which has been held in Las Vegas for 35 years, attracts 20,000 ski and snow sport retailers and manufacturers and has an annual economic impact of $30 million. SIA has signed an agreement to hold the event in Denver for 10 years.

“The 10 year agreement makes this the largest convention booking in Denver’s history,” said Richard Scharf, Denver Metro Convention Bureau President and CEO. “With the growth that is expected in the show, SIA SnowSports Trade Show delegates will spend more money in Denver over the next decade than the original $350 million cost of expanding the Colorado Convention Center.”

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said the reason Denver expanded the convention center was to have the capacity to attract large events like the SIA trade show.

“The 20,000 people that come to this show every year will generate revenues that support local jobs, stimulate our economy and reduce the tax burden on our local residents,” Hickenlooper said. “And on the marketing front, 20,000 people will go back to their hometowns every year telling their friends and families about the cultural, recreational and economic vitality of Denver.”

Gov. Ritter sees it as a “natural fit,” agreeing that it will boost winter tourism throughout Colorado.

The Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau has been working on booking the trade show for four years, but the Convention Center was too small before its expansion in December 2004. The expansion, along with other new hotel development including the Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center, made it an attractive package for SIA, Scharf said.

SIA wanted to change locations because the show was busting at the seams at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

“We’ve literally been turning companies away and denying established brands the opportunity to expand their presence at the trade show,” said David Ingemie, president of SIA. “Strictly from a space issue, especially meeting and event space, we have been looking at alternatives for some time.”

The reasons SIA went with the Colorado Convention Center are numerous. First, it wanted to put the “snow” back in snow sports and move closer to a mountain environment. It will now be able to entertain the possibility of hosting on-snow events. The 584,000-square-foot convention center allows room to grow, and the SIA will be the only trade show in town during the show dates. Plus, it will be one of the biggest trade shows Denver has ever held.

SIA looked at a variety of locations including Salt Lake City, Dallas, Chicago, New York, New Orleans and Reno.

“Denver just ‘snowed’ all the others with their interest and desire to help SIA grow the snow sports industry,” according to an SIA press release.

SIA’s contract with Mandalay Bay was scheduled to end in 2011, but SIA thought it made sense to move to Denver during an Olympic year to take advantage of the excitement the move brings to the industry.

“We are looking forward to living our snow passion in Denver,” said Mike Carey, chairman of the SIA board.

The upcoming SIA 2008 SnowSports Trade Show will be held on Jan. 29 to Feb. 1 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information on the association visit

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