Paddlesports Retailer, the official tradeshow for the paddlesports industry that broke away from Outdoor Retailer last year, said it will move to Oklahoma City in 2018, after its first edition in Madison, Wisconsin earlier this summer. The new location was chosen for its commitment to creating a world-class urban paddlesports venue on the Oklahoma River. Over the last ten years, Oklahoma City has invested more than $100 million in the Oklahoma City Boathouse District, the official U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Training Site for paddlesports. It includes a world-championship caliber sprint kayak and rowing course, a $45 million Olympic whitewater river and slalom course, and a high-performance training center for elite paddlesports athletes from around the world.
“There are two primary reasons that we’re moving to Oklahoma City,” said Show Manager Marcus Shoffner. “First, we are simply out of space in Madison. We were overwhelmed by the response from both retailers and vendors at our inaugural show. Oklahoma City gives us room to expand with a new 300,000 square foot convention center slated to open in 2020. But most importantly, Oklahoma City offers the country’s premier paddlesports venue, which will be the centerpiece of our event.”
Paddlesports Retailer will take place Tuesday, Aug. 28 – Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, at Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center with the on-water demo on Monday, Aug. 27, at the Boathouse District. The demo will begin at 3 pm and run until 10 pm underneath the facility’s stadium lights. Show participants can canoe, kayak, raft and paddleboard down Class II-IV rapids while testing all the latest flatwater boats on the USOC sprint kayak course. The Boathouse is walking distance to the trendy Bricktown District, downtown, the convention center and adjacent hotels.
“This is an exciting next step for Paddlesports Retailer,” said Bill Kueper, Vice President of Wenonah Canoe and Chairman of the Paddlesports Trade Coalition. “In its first year, the show brought together more than 150 exhibiting paddlesports brands and almost 300 unique retailers. Oklahoma City offers an unprecedented venue for a gathering of this magnitude that will only continue to grow in years to come. The City is truly a paddler’s dream that will elevate the entire show experience for the industry.”
In addition to its committment as a paddlesports destination, Oklahoma City is ideal for its central U.S. location.
“We would like to thank Madison for being a gracious host to us this year,” added Shoffner. “Madison will always be an iconic paddlesports destination that we will all be visiting again soon.”
For more information and latest news regarding Paddlesports Retailer, visit www.paddlesportsretailer.com.