NRA was selected to produce largest outdoor show in North America starting in 2014 at the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg.
Several factors were key to the National Rifle Association being selected to write the next chapter in the history of this 65-year tradition in the Mid-Atlantic that has grown to become the largest outdoor consumer show in North America.
Under a long-term agreement with the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center (FSC), the NRA will produce the largest outdoor show in North America, which has taken place in Harrisburg under several names and producers for 65 years. The NRA’s vision for an outdoor show was a leading factor in why they were selected to write the next chapter in the history of this traditional event, according to those involved with the selection process.
“It will be the type of outdoor show people expect, with some additions they are going to love,” said Jeff Haste, Dauphin County Commissioner. “Under the direction of the NRA, this show has the potential to draw more vendors, offer more educational programs, and program bigger family-friendly entertainment.”
According to Haste, the traditional event was so critical to Dauphin County’s economy that the county committed $58,000 toward reserving the venue space for 2014 following the last-minute cancellation of a show in 2013 by Reed Exhibitions that cost the local economy an estimated $80 million in lost revenue and jobs.
“The national search resulted in 17 potential producers submitting proposals from across the country,” said David E. Black, President and CEO, Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC. “The NRA demonstrated a financial strength and keen understanding of the show’s culture, vendors, and consumers that was clearly above and beyond anyone else.”
The new show concept blazes a path to incredible growth potential for the show and the experiences for both vendors and attendees, according to Black.
“When a producer proposes making the largest privately-produced consumer show in America bigger than our one-million square-foot venue, you take notice,” said Mary Smith, President of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB). “Their concept of expanding to include meetings, conferences, and concerts as part of the week is a grand vision. One we want to help them realize.”
The NRA has more than 900,000 members within 300 miles of Harrisburg and has been an exhibitor in the Harrisburg-based sports show for over 30 years.
"The NRA's deep-rooted heritage in the outdoor lifestyle makes this a perfect partnership," said David Keene, NRA President. "We look forward to expanding this event by inviting national firearm manufacturers to join more than 1,000 hunting, fishing, and camping related vendors as well as outfitters from around the world."
For more information about the Great American Outdoor Show, call 1-866-343-1805 or visit www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #GR8AmericanShow2014.