Interbike could be looking at Las Vegas in a whole new way come 2009 —in the rear-view mirror.
The trade show’s contract with the Sands Convention Center ends when the ’09 expo closes its doors, and Interbike industry consultant Lance Camisasca reviewed a couple of options for alternative venues — including Denver, Colorado, and Anaheim, California — during the 11th annual Bicycle Leadership Conference January 19 in San Diego, California.
Camisasca said Interbike’s top venue requirements include:
• Contiguous exhibit space of at least 700,000 gross square-feet and ample meeting room space.
• A location that will help maximize retailer and manufacturer attendance.
• A large, diverse selection of hotels, restaurants and entertainment options near the events.
• An international airport within close proximity to the event with many flight options, numerous carriers and low airfare rates.
• Relaxed labor-union regulations and high-quality services.
• An OutDoor Demo site with great weather, extensive cross-country/downhill trails and a closed road loop.
• An event market recognized as a “cycling culture” destination.
Denver and Anaheim come closest to meeting all the requirements. Both have the requisite space, restaurants, hotels and entertainment options; both are located in areas that would maximize attendance; and both are recognized as cycling culture destinations.
A question-and-answer session found support for a move, but no clear consensus on either city.
“Denver is a much more bicycle-friendly city than Las Vegas, Salt Lake City or Anaheim, and the Outdoor Demo options near Denver are excellent,” said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of the Bikes Belong Coalition.
“From a Denver standpoint, however, I’m concerned about the hotels and transportation, as Denver has not handled a show of Interbike’s size before. So at this point I would say yes to Anaheim for the next three or four years, with a plan to move to Denver after that.”
Tim Jackson, brand manager for Masi Bikes, said Interbike’s previous incarnations in Anaheim “were not all that great.”
However, he added: “Given the needs of the show and the industry, Anaheim is looking a lot better. With a newly remodeled and really gorgeous convention center and an eagerness from the city to lure the industry back, Anaheim is rapidly becoming a contender for me. When you add in the already existing infrastructure – they’re harder to beat all the time.”
Camisasca said Interbike will need to decide whether to renew with the Sands or move by mid-2008.