The first edition of The Big Gear Show (BGS), the first open-air outdoor trade show in the U.S., will be held in the mountain resort town of Park City, Utah, with the support of the Utah state government. The organizers of this new show, which is a year late because of Corona, say it was “created with the needs of buyers front of mind, with the demo aspect fully integrated into the event” and that they chose Park City for its access to trails, roads and water for paddling, biking and convenient opportunities to test gear on-site.
Show director of BGS is Kenji Haroutunian, who has more than 30 years of experience in the outdoor recreation industry. From 2007 to 2015, he served as group show director for Nielsen Sports Outdoor Group (now Emerald Expositions), managing Outdoor Retailer, Fly Fishing Retailer and numerous ancillary events. BGS was created by Sutton Bacon and Darren Bush, who also founded Paddlesports Retailer together. Bacon is also the former director of the Nantahala Outdoor Center, a commercial outdoor guide service and retail store located in North Carolina. Bush is the creator of the successful paddle-specific annual consumer event Canoecopia and the owner of paddlesports retail store Rutabaga in Wisconsin.
BGS will be held Aug. 3-5, 2021, at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, which is less than an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport. Both the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and the National Bicycle Dealers Association are officially endorsing the show.