Outdoor Industry  June 9, 2016

Snow-sports trade group picks Utah over Boulder, Denver for HQ

Boulder and Denver have lost out to Park City, Utah, in their bid to host the headquarters of the nonprofit SnowSports Industries America trade group.

SIA announced on Thursday that the decision came after a unanimous vote by SIA’s board of directors in May as well as approval from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development for a “post-performance Industrial Assistance Fund” grant to SIA “not to exceed $100,000.”

SIA said it would create up to 30 jobs over the next three years at the new headquarters, moving its staff from its current main office in McLean, Va., where it has been for 40 years. It estimated a total payroll at $2.475 million a year, and as part of the agreement with Utah, its total wages are required to exceed 150 percent of the median wage in that county.

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The move is to be completed by August, SIA said.

Colorado’s Economic Development Commission had voted in January to offer SIA a performance-based incentive of $445,000 based on the creation of 29 full-time jobs. That figure included a cash incentive of $145,000 and “a co-branded marketing initiative worth $300,000 should they come here,” said Sam Bailey, senior manager of global business development for OEDIT.

“We looked at sites both in Boulder and Denver,” he said, “but the company had not narrowed down a specific site.”

Even so, Bailey said, “the state was thrilled to be considered. Outdoor recreation is a priority of this office.”

SIA said part of the draw of relocating to Park City was being close to the headquarters of member organizations such as Armada Skis, POC, Rossignol and Amer Sports, as well as partner organizations such as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. It added, however, that the move west would still allow it the ability to further strengthen its relationship with the state of Colorado, which hosts the annual SIA Snow Show.

“SIA looks forward to a continued close relationship with Colorado, where new platforms for industry education and growth will be built in support of the show,” SIA said in a media release.

When the Colorado OEDIT considered the incentive package in January, SIA wasn’t identified by name but only as “Project SuperSport.” At that meeting, Michelle Hadwiger, OEDIT’s director of global business development, noted that SIA workers’ average annual wage of $96,551 was 159 percent of that of Boulder County and 150 percent of that in Denver County.

Dallas Heltzell
With BizWest since 2012 and in Colorado since 1979, Dallas worked at the Longmont Times-Call, Colorado Springs Gazette, Denver Post and Public News Service. A Missouri native and Mizzou School of Journalism grad, Dallas started as a sports writer and outdoor columnist at the St. Charles (Mo.) Banner-News, then went to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before fleeing the heat and humidity for the Rockies. He especially loves covering our mountain communities.
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