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Outdoor Retailer Show Takes Over Denver

By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4)- Many small Colorado companies are hoping the Outdoor Retailer Show can bring in more business right in their backyard.

"The move to Denver definitely appealed to us because we're trying to expand our presence here in the Front Range," said Art Trezise with Acli-Mate Formulations. "It's a little bit overwhelming for us, we had no idea of the magnitude of what goes on over here in terms of the number of vendors, the activity and promotional stuff."

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But after one day, Tresize says the interest in his business has already been worthwhile.

Some 300,000 people are expected to attend Outdoor Retailer in Denver. Three trade shows throughout the year is expected to bring in more than $110 million in economic impact for the city.

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Companies at the show are hoping a boost in business will mean even more.

"We are interacting with buyers from Australia, all the way to Canada, a lot in the United States as well," said Brian Blake McBroom who is a co-founder of B Fresh Gear based in Denver.

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"We like to think of ourselves as a nostalgic accessories brand so we sell everything from fanny packs to visor shades, vintage puffer ski vests," McBroom said. "Typically half of our contracts have come through that type of interaction. People walking the floor something catches their eyes. We're here for them."

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The show isn't only about companies showing off products. It's also a place for retailers to come discover new products.

"We're shopping! So, we're here every year to find something new and exciting for our customers," said Jimmy Funkhouser, the owner of Feral Mountain Company in Denver. "We want to show up here and find something from a small company something nobody has seen before and we want to be the first ones to snatch it up and put it in our store. And get something people are going to be excited about."

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Funkhouser has attended Outdoor Retailer in past years when the event was in Salt Lake City. He said, even on the first day, there's a noticeable difference.

"The energy is different. If you ask anybody, they'll tell you the vibe is different because the brands are excited to be here, the industry is excited to be here and this city was stoked to have this event here. We just love throwing a party so we're excited everybody is here," Funkhouser said.

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Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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