Utah’s governor to meet with outdoor leaders to talk Bears Ears, Outdoor Retailer show

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Governor Gary Herbert said he planned to meet with outdoor industry leaders this week over calls for the multi-million dollar Outdoor Retailer trade show to leave the state.

"I'll be listening to their concerns, hopefully correcting any misinformation, misunderstandings and see if we can’t find a way to come together," the governor told reporters.

Gov. Herbert said he was inviting stakeholders to a meeting as outdoor industry representatives have vented over the Utah State Legislature's resolution calling for President Donald Trump to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument. The Outdoor Retailer show has said it will consider bids from other cities for its show, and leading outdoor gear makers have announced they won't attend so long as it is in Utah.

Governor Gary Herbert (center) and Vicki Varela, Utah's managing director of tourism, film and global branding, talk tourism in the Utah State Capitol. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

Governor Gary Herbert (center) and Vicki Varela, Utah's managing director of tourism, film and global branding, talk tourism in the Utah State Capitol. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

They're angry over the resolution, which Gov. Herbert signed.

"We need to just calm down and see if we can find a common way to get to a goal we all want to share which is protection for our public lands, access for our outdoor recreation, and a multiple use component," the governor said.

Gov. Herbert spoke with reporters as he met with tourism industry representatives at the Utah State Capitol on Monday. Tourism generated more than $8 billion last year in Utah, more than $1 billion in taxes alone.

"It’s one of the top 10 industries," said Vicki Varela, Utah's managing director of tourism, film and global branding. "It’s a growing industry that last year growth was over eight percent."

Since President Obama created Bears Ears National Monument, Varela acknowledged the state tourism office has done some soft marketing of it.

A woman in historic dress promoting the Golden Spike Memorial site descends the staircase at the Utah State Capitol. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

A woman in historic dress promoting the Golden Spike Memorial site descends the staircase at the Utah State Capitol. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

"We’ve just started to get some messaging out about it," she said.

On the state's tourism website was some information on how to visit the area. Varela expressed confidence that compromise can be reached.

"There’s always politics around virtually every industry. We have a few more politics than usual right now, so certainly we need to manage through them," she said.