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The people behind the North American Handmade Bicycle Show are going ahead with plans to hold the group's 13th annual convention March 10-12 in Salt Lake City.
But they don't like Utah's publics-lands policies any more than the departing Outdoor Retailer trade shows' organizers and have said they are not coming back to the Beehive State "unless serious changes to policy occur."
"When we were negotiating the show, Gov. Herbert hadn't begun his assault on public lands," said Don Walker, founder of the bicycle show known by the acronym NAHBS. [Herbert's] "agenda for the state of Utah has the ability to curtail the recreation of our exhibitors and their customers."
"If not for signed contracts, booked airfares, hotels and the builders depending on the show taking place, we too would be relocating," he added, referring to the Feb. 16 decision by Emerald Expositions, owner of the twice annual Outdoor Retailer trade shows, to stop coming to Salt Lake City after two decades.
This year's winter and summer markets are projected to bring roughly 40,000 visitors to Utah, generating $45 million in economic benefits.
If discussions between OR leaders and Herbert Administration officials had not broken down so close to this year's bike convention, the show might have been yanked out of Salt Lake City, Walker said.
"Unfortunately, moving the show this year is not an option," he added, noting that the convention moves each year to "accommodate the needs of builders across the country."
But because of Utah's stance on ownership of federal lands, and opposition to the Antiquities Act and the creation of Bear Ears National Monument, Walker said "we would not chose to bring the show back to Utah unless serious changes are made by government officials."
Herbert's office did not respond immediately Wednesdays to a request for comment.
When Outdoor Retailer announced its decision to pull out last week, Herbert spokesman Paul Edwards called the move "offensive" and denied that the state was "hostile" to public lands.
Utah "invests tens of millions of dollars into the protection of and access to its public lands," he insisted.
Last year's handmade bicycle convention attracted 8,000 people to Sacramento, which also hosted the 2012 event. In between, the gathering took place in Denver, Charlotte and Louisville.