Madison is great and all, and offers awesome cheese curds, but next year Paddlesports Retailer will bid it hasta luego and move to Oklahoma City and the official U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Training Site for paddlesports.
With organizers making the announcement at this year’s Paddlesports Retailer show in Madison, the new location was selected chosen for its ability to house the growing trade show and its new Oklahoma City Boathouse District and USOC Training Center, which includes a sprint kayak and rowing course, a $45 million Olympic whitewater slalom course, and a high-performance training center. The show will be housed in the Cox Convention Center, and move to a new 300,000-square-foot convention center, to open in 2020.
“We’re doing it for two reasons,” announced Show Manager Marcus Shoffner. “We’re out of space in Madison and Oklahoma City gives us room to expand; and it offers the country’s premier paddlesports venue which will be the centerpiece of our event.”
Over the last ten years, Oklahoma City has invested more than $100 million in its Boathouse District.
“We are thrilled to welcome Paddlesports Retailer to Oklahoma City,” says the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Sue Hollenbeck. “Our community lives and breathes paddlesports and I think attendees will be blown away by what we have to offer.”
Paddlesports Retailer will take place August 28-30 next year, with its on-water demo – perhaps the best the industry has ever seen, with both whitewater and touring options -- slated for August 27 at the Boathouse District. Show participants can canoe, kayak, raft and paddleboard down Class II-IV rapids and test touring craft on the USOC sprint kayak course. The Boathouse is walking distance to the trendy Bricktown District, downtown, and the convention center and adjacent hotels.
“This is an exciting next step for Paddlesports Retailer,” says Bill Kueper, 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.”