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Outdoor Retail Company Evo Plans Campus In Salt Lake's Granary District

Photo of granary district building.
Adam Clark
Caption: Evo will renovate a 90-year old building in Salt Lake City's Granary neighborhood.

Outdoor and action sports retailer, evo, announced it plans to build a 100,000 foot campus in downtown Salt Lake City in 2020.

CEO and founder of the Seattle based company, Bryce Phillips, says Salt Lake City was a natural next step for evo, after it opened sites in Portland, Denver, and Whistler.

“It’s the access to the outdoors and all of the passion that people have for being outside,” he said.

Evo is the largest outdoor retail development to come to Salt Lake City since multiple companies in the industry took a stance on Utah’s handlings of public lands in 2017.

That January, the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show pulled out of Utah after 20 years of partnership. Leaders of the trade show like Outdoor Industries Association, REI, and Patagonia spearheaded the move in protest of the state legislature urging President Trump to rescind the creation of Bears Ears National Monument.

Evo’s Philips was supportive of the move by multiple outdoor retailers. “It was a really strong way to make it clear where the companies’ values were.” He says evo’s move to Salt Lake City is not in opposition to that stance, but that he sees a different way to respond to issues of public lands and climate change.

“Front and center for us is giving back to the community and working with underserved youth. When we can expose kids to the outdoors, that’s going to inspire them to advocate environmentally.”

Philips says the company works with many local and national organizations that give kids access to the outdoors. In Salt Lake City, evo will sponsor the local chapter of SheJumps, an organization that aims to teach young girls technical outdoor skills in an inclusive environment.

Since 2017, only two other large outdoor retail companies (DPS Skis and Wild Tribute) have relocated in the state, according to Lara Fritts, Director of the Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development.

Evo plans to renovate a 90 year old building in Salt Lake’s Granary neighborhood, just west of downtown. The new space, called CampusSLC, plans to include local sports retailer L9 Sports, an evo retail store, a hotel, restaurants, an art gallery and a creative work space.

The company hopes to finish the project by the fall of 2020.

The Outdoor Retail Trade Show starts in Denver, CO this Monday.

Claire used to work as an outdoor education teacher — living in the middle of the woods for six months of the year and then filling in the rest with odd jobs. When she first moved to Utah in 2016 for a winter season, it was the first place she could envision staying for more than 6 months. Podcasts and radio filled in the hours moving in between states. In fact, Claire loved working seasonally and podcasts so much, that she began making her own podcast about seasonal life. She then decided to apply for an internship with RadioWest. When she stepped into the station, it was the second time she could see herself in Utah for more than 6 months. Now Claire works as a production assistant and a weekend host. She’s excited to stay for a while.
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