LAGUNA BEACH, CALIF. (DEC. 20, 1999) ¿ Six months after a tornado swept through downtown Salt Lake City, the world’s largest outdoor industry trade show is returning to Utah with renewed spirit ¿ and a heavy increase in preregistration numbers.

Less than six weeks before the Outdoor Retailer show is scheduled to begin, buyer registration is up 16 percent over last year’s Winter Market. Compared to figures from the same period two years ago, preregistration has soared 83 percent.

“We recognize that the this industry is a tight-knit group of people committed to each other and the outdoors,” said Dieter Tremp, Outdoor Retailer Show Director. “To cater to this community, we’ve made a great effort to streamline our registration process over the last three years,making a visit to the Outdoor Retailer shows easy, efficient and effective.”

The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market show is slated for Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2000, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City. The annual OnSnow Demo ¿ a unique opportunity for retailers to try outdoor gear before they buy it ¿ is scheduled for Jan. 27-28, 2000, at the Park City Mountain Resort.

In total, more than 15,000 are expected to attend the winter showcase. And while most will be looking for next year’s coolest outdoor clothing and equipment, some will undoubtedly take the opportunity to reminisce about the remarkable events that surrounded their last convention.

In August, an F2-grade tornado blew through the heart of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show, destroying two pavilions which were occupied by workers and exhibitors setting up for the show. One fatality and dozens of injuries were sustained on site.

Damage from the storm displaced an estimated 30 percent of the show’s exhibitors. However, more than 300 of the 330 pavilion-based companies were reassigned locations within the main hall as many shared their booth space.

After the show, Miller Freeman, Inc., which hosts the Outdoor Retailer shows, refunded more than $2 million to aid impacted companies in recovering as quickly as possible. And for the tornado’s victims and their families, industry relief efforts started at the trade show raisedmore than $75,000.

Despite the tornado, sales figures from the show indicated remarkable activity, with many exhibitors reporting extraordinary business.

“Summer Market 1999 will be remembered for more than just a tornado,” added Tremp.

Healthy business at the Outdoor Retailer shows reflects the continuing growth of the outdoor industry. According to the 1999 State of the Market Report, published in the December issue of Outdoor Retailer Magazine, the outdoor industry grew six percent in 1999, reaching a grosssales figure of $5.04 billion.

Outdoor Retailer Magazine has published a State of the Market Report for the last 20 years, providing a detailed breakdown of the industry and its various segments. In the 1999 report, the industry is split fairly evenly into four categories. “Apparel” leads the way at $1.7 billion, “Gear” is next at $1.5 billion, “Accessories” follows at $957 million and “Footwear” rounds it out at $806 million.

The Outdoor Retailer Winter and Summer Market shows are the world’s largest outdoor industry trade shows. Winter Market alone hosts more than 2,500 exhibitor booths and 15,000 attendees. Outdoor Retailer Magazine, published since 1980, is the leading publication for the outdoor marketplace. Outdoor Retailer is a division of Miller Freeman, Inc., located at 310 Broadway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, (949) 376-8155.

Information regarding the shows as well as Outdoor Retailer magazine is available on the Internet at www.outdoorbiz.com.

For media information, contact Drew Simmons at Stanwood & Partners, (307) 733-1514 or dsimmons@wyoming.com.