Outdoor Retail Show 2014

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One thing for sure is that you will get some walking exercise when you attend the Outdoor Retail Show in Salt Lake City. The 2014 event was no exception. The Salt Palace, where the indoor portion of the show is held, is huge. I’m not sure of the exact number of exhibitors, but all 515,000 square feet of the building was full of manufacturers of outdoor products. In fact, the show has grown so much that there are 3 giant tents, called the pavilions, that house several more exhibitors across the street.

This is the third time we’ve attended the show in the past 6 years, the last time being 3 years ago. Some things have changed but, for the most part, you’ll find nearly anything and everything that has to do with outdoor recreation. Most of the manufacturers that attend are from the hiking, camping, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and outdoor shoes and clothing areas. You do see a few fishing and hunting booths, some outdoor related toys and some hard to categorize niches that fit into the general ‘outdoor accessories’ area.
People at ORS
Our main purpose in attending was to visit with the manufacturers we’ve been dealing with over the past 8 years, Sea Eagle boats, Innova kayaks, WindPaddle sails and Cannon paddles. All these companies have a variety of new items for 2015 that we were excited to see. Sea Eagle and Innova will be introducing new kayaks that we had a chance to paddle at the Demo Day that opened the show. WindPaddle has a new Bimini sun shade as well as a new design for their sails and Cannon is introducing an adjustable length kayak paddle and some new paddles for kids. You can check into PortableKayaks.com to see these new products as they become available. You can also e-mail us at hillstores@aol.com and we’ll keep you informed.
Paddlers at ORS
We’re always looking for new and interesting outdoor products that will fit into PortableKayaks.com and our Hill Stores Amazon store. It’s going to take some time to evaluate all the new items we found, but we’ll be sure to write about them here and let you know if we’re adding any travel chairs, hammocks, custom made backpacks & carry bags, camping dishes or anything else on our long list of potential new products.

Of course we managed to take advantage of the free food (Vasque Boot’s pancake breakfast, Keen’s Shoes Keenfest Lunch and various ‘happy hours’ and snacks throughout the day). We also accumulated a collection of swag that ranged from the usual t-shirts & hats to mini-clips & straps to free sunglasses. I was also lucky enough to win a Zippo Rugged Lantern at their spin & win wheel.

All in all it was a fun and productive trip. Looking forward to the next time.

Take a look at this ‘wrap up’ video that was produced by the outdoor retail show …

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