Patagonia Boycotts Outdoor Retailer Over Utah Bears Ears Resolution
Won't return to country's largest outdoor trade show.
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Last month, Patagonia threatened the state of Utah. If legislators there didn’t stop fighting public lands, founder Yvon Chouinard wrote to Gov. Gary Herbert, Patagonia would leave Outdoor Retailer, an industry trade show that brings $80 million to Utah’s economy each year. And it would take other brands, and their money, with it.
Herbert called Patagonia’s bluff on Friday by signing a resolution to ask President Donald Trump to rescind Barack Obama’s designation of Bears Ears as a National Monument. But Patagonia isn’t playing around.
On Tuesday, the brand announced that it would leave Outdoor Retailer, effective immediately. Patagonia won’t stay for the summer show in July, as planned, and won’t attend any other Outdoor Retailer shows in Utah.
Herbert is “making it clear that he and other Utah elected officials do not support public lands conservation nor do they value the economic benefits—$12 billion in consumer spending and 122,000 jobs—that the outdoor recreation industry brings to their state,” Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement. “Because of the hostile environment they have created and their blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah and we are confident other outdoor manufacturers and retailers will join us in moving our investment to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation.”
Patagonia has one retail store in Utah, in Salt Lake City, and said it does not plan to close the store.
“Our stores serve as centers of environmental activism,” Corley Kenna, a Patagonia spokeswoman, wrote in an email. “We look forward to continuing that tradition of convening people around environmental issues that cross all political boundaries and impact all people.”
So far, Patagonia is the only brand to announce its boycott of the show. Herbert’s office hasn’t responded to a phone call and email for comment.
Earlier this week, Outdoor Retailer’s organizers announced that they were considering moving the show to another location.