It’s surprising, but not shocking, to hear that the big show around Chicago outdoors, the one in Rosemont, has been cancelled.
This was to be the first time that the Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association put on the Rosemont Sportfishing, Travel & Outdoors Show at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
The Rosemont Show has had a checkered history and multiple owners over the past 15 years.
I thought last year’s show, under then-owner Jim Sugarman, was the best outdoors show Chicago has seen since the mid-1990s.
But it didn’t pay off and NMMA ended up buying the show, then made what is probably a smart business decision.
The Rosemont show, for all its pluses with easy access, central location and good floor space, also had serious drawbacks in high parking and entrance fees.
All the same, it was a big-time show with big names, a show worthy of Chicago.
I will miss it.
But the world evolves.
NMMA will concentrate on its Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show at McCormick Place.
Here is the word from NMMA PR manager Sarah Ryser:
We’ve just notified our exhibitors that the Rosemont Sportfishing, Travel & Outdoors Show is cancelled in order to address the industry’s current market demand. There just wasn’t enough critical mass to warrant an acceptable selling environment for our exhibitors and a quality event for attendees. By moving forward without the Rosemont show, we’ll be able to focus producing one dynamic show in the market, delivering a more robust landscape at NMMA’s Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show and stronger selling environment for the Chicagoland boating, fishing, travel and outdoors industries. The 2012 Rosemont Sportfishing, Travel & Outdoors Show was scheduled to take place January 25-29 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.
In the end, it doesn’t say good things about the state of the outdoors, here and overall.