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Portland to host major bike industry trade show

Posted by on October 30th, 2006 at 1:57 pm

Wow. Check this out…

From Bicycle Retailer & Industry News:

“The organizers of Eurobike, Germany’s premier trade show, will launch a competing event in Portland, Oregon, next September challenging Interbike’s long dominance as the only show in the U.S. market. Messe Friedrichshafen, Eurobike’s owners, have met with Portland officials who will support efforts to bring retailers and exhibitors to the West Coast city.

Erich Reiss, a long-time consultant for the Messe who lives part-time in nearby Hood River, is the driving force behind the Messe’s board of directors’ decision to launch a competing show. “We will offer absolute quality,” said Reiss, a 24-year veteran who led the launch of Eurobike…

…Dates for the new trade show have yet to be set, but it will be held sometime in mid-September. Reiss also has yet to hire a U.S. team to manage the show but hopes to make an announcement soon.”

Full story on BicycleRetailer.com

I just read this and immediately called Jennifer Nolfi, the cycling industry liaison with the Portland Development Commission. Jennifer said she was not surprised to hear about this because she recalled staffers from the Portland Oregon Visitors Association asking her to set up meetings with Eurobike staff at the recent Interbike show. They said their reason for meeting was confidential.

Now we know the big secret.

I’ve also spoken to Bike Gallery owner and bike industry insider Jay Graves. He was aware of this but did not think the story was ready for public consumption…until he read it online.

This is huge news for Portland. Stay tuned for developments.

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  • […] via BikePortland.org via Bicycle Retailer Written by Rocky Thompson […]

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  • Cate October 30, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    Bravo to Erich Reiss and the POVA. Great to have an Interbike alternative in the US, and even better to have it here in Portland.

    It makes perfect sense to have a bicycling trade show here. (Why is Interbike in Las Vegas?) Will it be open to the public or just bicycling insiders like Interbike?

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  • Jonathan Maus October 30, 2006 at 9:34 pm

    That’s a great question Cate. The good news is that unlike Interbike, European trade shows typically have a day that is open to consumers. Personally I think an added day for the general public would be great…but that would be sacrificing a day of industry business…so I’m not sure what they’ll decide.

    I’m sure we’ll find out more details as time goes on.

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  • Paul October 30, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    Sounds like a great excuse to throw a series of bike related events and parties….

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  • Fritz October 30, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    Yeah, but … Portland? How many other trade shows does Portland handle in a year?

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  • Matt Picio October 31, 2006 at 9:43 am

    Cate said: “Why is Interbike in Las Vegas?”

    Not being part of the group that runs it, I can’t say for sure, but here’s my guess based on my experience with other trade shows:

    Generally, trade shows like Vegas because airfare there is cheap, they have a large, efficient airport, and the massive amount of “entertainment” (i.e. Casinos) provides a big draw not only for potential attendees but their spouses, etc. as well. For industry wonks, Vegas is nice because convention space is large and plentiful, and the city is extremely experienced at moving convention materials in and out (i.e. experienced labor, hand trucks, and organizers who know what they’re doing). If you’ve ever been involved in organizing a trade show, or attending one as an exhibitor, you’ll know exactly how complex an undertaking it is and how much easier it is when the convention hall staff know what they’re doing.

    It totally makes sense to have a major bike show in Portland, though, with our bike maufacturer presence, our national reputation, and our easy access to pro outdoor attractions (how many places are within 90 miles of some of the world’s best rock climbing & windsurfing, and also near excellent hiking, mountaineering, old-growth forests, and hundreds of waterfalls?) And we have some decent convention facilities, though not a lot of hotel space close to the main ones. OCC can hold events drawing up to 30,000 people in a single weekend (Interbike’s website says their attendance is “thousands”, so that shouldn’t be a problem), but the lack of hotel space near the convention center is a major issue for any sizeable event. PDC has been trying to get a hotel built next to the convention center for a number of years now – they’re looking to add a 600-room hotel adjacent to the OCC.

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  • John C October 31, 2006 at 10:01 am

    I spent most of my life in Las Vegas (grew up there and worked until my late twenties). I can tell you the reason Interbike is there is because of the convention space and the ability to house the convention attendees. Portland is a much better fit then Vegas for an industry bike show, as long as there is enough rooms to house the attendees. Lets hope so. I would love to see it come here!

    BTW, Vegas has a nice racing community, and a good number of bikers both Mt. and Road, but not on the scale of Portland (not to many commuters). Lets hope that changes as well.

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  • Todd Boulanger October 31, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Congratulations Portland [Metro Area]!

    Now the US can have an industry bike show where one can actually bike to the event and enjoy it!

    I hope that the organizers give this event a more utilitarian spin…how to live, shop, work, lust and recreate on a bike vs. just the latter two more commonly covered by similar events. Think of Interbike if it were held in Groningen NL.

    Perhaps there could be a mini Bikestation set up for event valet parking. And how about a larger Bike Town distribution or ‘get in free’ to the convention if you donate a bike to the Community Cycling Center, etc.

    Good luck…and if the organizers need some extra convention space…there is some great space at Vancouver’s Convention Center. It’s only 10 bike minutes from the Expo MAX. 😉

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  • Ian October 31, 2006 at 11:39 am

    besides the issues of hotel space/airport/etc…all reasons why its in vegas, there is one other big reason interbike is in vegas.
    Years ago it was in anahiem, and was moved to vegas when anahiem started building more convention space. After a few years when interbike would poll attendies, they found that a large percentage of bike shop owners wanted it to stay because it became thier once a year vacation.

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  • MIchael October 31, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    One major factor for Interbike being in Vegas that hasn’t been mentioned here is the On Dirt Demo, or Outdoor Demo. Las Vegas is sunny. All of the time. And that makes it extremely easy to set up and run an outdoor product demonstration area.

    Now, I’m not from Portland, but I’ve visited– and one thing’s for sure, you’re far from guaranteed a good, full, sunny day.

    I dislike Vegas just as much as the next guy, but I’m in the media, and I would be quite upset if
    a) I didn’t get a chance to ride anything.
    b) my photos from the outdoor section didn’t pan out due to poor lighting.

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  • Jonathan Maus October 31, 2006 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve just published a bit more information on this story. Check it out.

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  • Roger Louton October 31, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    Matt Picio noted:”easy access to pro outdoor attractions (how many places are within 90 miles of some of the world’s best rock climbing & windsurfing, and also near excellent hiking, mountaineering, old-growth forests, and hundreds of waterfalls?)” Where would the Outdoor Bike Demo be held? No mention of world class singletrack trails because there are only 6 miles of it, and far from world class. Forest Park rules preclude any large events with more than 150 participants at any one time in any section of the park. We’ll have to lean on Parks and the city to overcome this obstacle in the trail to a succesful event. We have plenty of ‘pathways’ to test ride bikes, Powell Butte is a 1/2 hour drive……not so minor details to think about!……..
    needless to say, YOUR local mountain bike club looks forward to working with the local land managers and expand the off-road, singletrack trail system for all users. http://www.pumpclub.org

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  • Cate October 31, 2006 at 4:32 pm

    Roger, that’s a good point. Maybe this new trade show will serve as an incentive for the City to bring Portland up to Platinum standards and open up the parks more to bicyclists.

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