Skip to comments.Vendors say Outdoor Show ban puts them in lose-lose situation
Posted on 01/22/2013 12:54:31 PM PST by Second Amendment First
Mike Olien has been planning his first trip to the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show for a year.
His Texas-based company, MN Outdoors, planned the roll out for its new clip-on beverage holder when the show opens Feb. 2.
MN specializes in duck decoys and hunting camera mounts. Its beverage holder isn't specifically designed for hunters. The company does not sell guns or gun accessories.
But the Harrisburg show's new firearm policy has put Olien -- a "lifetime member of anything you can be a lifetime member of," an AR-15 owner and a strong gun control opponent -- in a lose-lose position.
Olien made a business decision to add this show to his schedule in hopes of finding new customers. The demands to boycott the show for banning the sale or display of assault weapons are now blurring the business and political, Olien said.
He has already spent $7,000 to secure his booth at the show, money the show's promoters will not refund, Olien said. If he joins the boycott, that money is lost. It's not chump change for a five-year-old small business. He also risks alienating Reed Exhibitions, the show promoter, that also runs shows he needs to attend closer to home in Texas and Colorado later this year.
Reed has not returned PennLive's requests for comment.
Not joining the boycott could bring greater costs.
If the controversy flattens attendance, which Olien believes a strong possibility, he could waste a few thousand more dollars making the two-day trip from the San Antonio suburbs.
Worse, his name could be mud in the small community of manufacturers and sellers in the outdoors community.
"If I pull out, I lose," Olien said. "If I stay, and the attendance is low and I get on somebody's blackball list, I lose I'll see people at six other shows this year and it won't take long for word to get around that I was at that show in Pennsylvania."
The chance of a TV host or outdoors celebrity ever plugging MN gear could be ruined for years.
MN needs to get its decoys into stores and stay in stores. Major distributors, like the boycotting Cabela's, might not want to carry the merchandise of a company seen as supporting the show, Olien said.
When Reed's ban was first announced, some companies were encouraging show attendees to wear blaze orange in protest of the ban. Olien thought he might be able to protest the decision by manning his booth in a bright jacket all week, but all the controversy makes that unlikely.
Every hour, his inbox is being bombarded by people he's never met demanding he take a stand to protect their rights. As of yet, Olien said, none of them have offered to refund his costs.
If this were a political choice, it would be easy, Olien said. But this is about dollars and cents.
He's heard talk of vendors mounting a class-action lawsuit against Reed for changing its rules so close to the show, but he doesn't know what the parameters would be or if it could be successful.
Provided Reed doesn't change its stance, something Olien said the company told him it does not intend to do, Olien will decided by the weekend if it's worth risking the trip.
One things is for sure.
Even if he comes this year, there will be no second trip for MN next winter.
He predicts a lot of vendors will be making a similar decision.
"I can't afford to be associated with a show that's so wishy-washy," Olien said. "It's been a wonderful show in the past, but they really flubbed it up. This show will always have a stigma as being that show."
Reed Expo should be sued for changing the rules after signup and not refunding their money.
I hope the attendance is a total bust.
“I feel for the little guys getting squeezed by all this.”
Me too, but it just points out that freedom isn’t free!
The website My Northeast Outdoors, whose creators support a boycott of next month’s Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show in Harrisburg, has published a running list of vendors and personalities that have pulled out of the show.
Reed Exhibitions, which organizes the show, announced recently that vendors could not display or sell some classes of weapons and ammunition at the show.
2 Million Bullets
24/7 Hunting TV
Alaska’s Ravencroft Lodge
Alaskan Outdoors TV
American Whitetails of PA
Appalachian Big Game TV
Avian X Decoys
Bangin Redhedz Turkey Gear
Bow Hunter’s Den
Bow Life, LLC
Cochrane River Outfitters
Cody Turkey Calls
Cold Steel Knives
Continental Divide Outfitters
Cross Canyon Arms
Cutting Edge Bullets
Deer and Deer Hunting.com
Direct Action Tactical Firearms
Dirty Dog Outdoors
Domari Nolo Defense Consulting
Dominance is Everything Hunting System
Down N Dirty Outdoors
Eastern Chapter Wild Sheep Foundation
Easton Bow Hunting
Excalibur Crossbow US, Inc
Farmland Trophies Outfitting
Fear No Evil
Field Proven Calls
Firearms Industry Consulting Group
Foiles Migrators, Inc
Forbes Turkey Calls
FOXPRO High Performance Game Calls
Full Circle Outdoors
Ghost River Outfitters - Alberta
Gone Wild Outdoors
Gut N Tag, LLC
High Lonesome Outfitters
Hoyt Archery Inc
Hunter Safety Systems
Hunter Specialties w/ Rick White
Hunters and Guides Connection
Hunters Comfort, LLC
Huntin’ Is Good! TV
International Bowhunting Organization
Iron Kin Hunt Club
J & M Traditions
Keystone Country Store
Keystone Elk Country Alliance
King of the Mountain Inc.
Lancaster Archery Supply
Major League Bowhunter
Men in Treestands Productions
Midwest Whitetail Adventures
Mindful of Nature LLC
Mountain Dog Chews
Muskie Moose, LLC
Nature Blinds, LLC
Northern Hideaway Outfitters
Northern Outdoor Lodge
Northern Wilderness Outfitters
Old Goat Outdoors
Open Season TV
Outdoor Channel Outfitters
Outdoor Edge Knives
Outdoor Specialist Grou
PA Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs
PA Taxidermist Association, Inc
Pat Strawser Custom Calls
Pennsylvania Trappers Assoc.
Perry’s No Peep Archery Site
Pipeline Ridge Hunting Preserve
Primal Urge Outdoors
Primos Hunting Calls
Proc’s Huntin Buddy
Ranew’s Outdoor Equipment
Red Star Arms
S & W Outfitter
Southern Game Calls
Sportsmen of North America TV
State Line Bone Mine
Staudt’s Gun Shop
Stay Ready Inc
Susquehanna River Waterfowlers Assoc
Table Mountain Outfitters
The Bear Whisperer
The Outdoor Loop
The State Line Bone Mine a NW Missouri and Iowa outfitter
Triple Mag TV
Trop Gun Shop
U Slide Bow Hunter
Upper Canyon Outfitters
Wallaston Lake Lodge
Tex Mex Outdoors
Watson Air Lock
Watt’s Truck Center
Whitetail Heaven Outdoors
Woodcock Limited of Pennsylvania
Speakers and personalities:
Abner Druckenmiller - Furtakers TV
Angie & Scott Denny - THE LIFE at Table Mountain
Blaine Anthony, The Bear Whisperer
Fred Eichler - Fulldraw Outfitters
Jim and Eva Shockey
Lee & Tiffany Lakosky “The Crush”
Pat & Nicole Reever
Ralph & Vicki Cianciarulo - Archers Choice
The Bone Collector
I hope Cabela’s attorneys are looking at this closely.
Typical British company. They have an office not too far from me in Norwalk, CT. I know of a few people that worked there & some of the office politics were unbelievable even for CT.
Thanks for the list. I am immediately familiar with Cabelas and have purchased many things from them. I e-mailed them the day they announced they would boycott. I thanked them for their support.
I feel bad for the small guys who are in an unenviable bind here. I wouldn’t make too much of their participation one way or the other because of the cost, but the show’s organizer should be sued for breach.
I’d like to see a list of larger vendors who are not boycotting this show so I can avoid them.
It has always been such, back to the founding when "We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
is should not be “gun control opponenet”
we should be saying “second amendment civil rights supporter”
you either support civil rights via the second or you oppose civil rights. It puts the left in the position of opposing civil rights.
I guess the Brits didn’t learn when Tomkins PLC took a bath on S&W.
If that’s the list of vendors that have pulled out, they aren’t going to have much of a show.
Lots of big companies on that list.
I wonder if Reed will fair very well in the future when asking for vendors exhibits. I can imagine most vendors may feel that Reed will change the rules after collecting the fee. Who would actually want to do business with them next time.
I why would he want to pay Reed again in the future and take a chance of Reed doing the exact same thing again.
I feel for the position he is in, but gun rights are a principle, not a business. Too bad this leftist group can’t keep business and politics separate. They want an outdoor event but don’w seem to undersatnd the type of customers going to this event are not gun control nuts.
Dear Mike Olien: Freedom isn’t always free...
But being labeled as a Benedict Arnold is forever!
Says it all, thanks.
Well, it’s a fish (or maybe hunt in this case) or cut bait situation. What else could this show’s promoter do with the terms between now and then? That’s a treacherous situation. They really crapped on the gun sports crowd here, people who frequently like to shoot “scary guns” but who will never use one to commit a crime with.
Those who do go ought to put up giant protest posters all over the place. Maybe an actual “scary gun” can’t be sold or shown, but they can still put up posters with photographs of them, as I read this. And also make it clear to this show promoter that it’s the last time they’ll do business with him or with anyone who does not promise in advance to refrain from adding such a condition after contracts are signed.
Yeah, this move really was crapping on the crowd.
The herd of cats needs to unify against this.
The five guys I know that go up from Virginia have shut down their trip.
Good point. I had thought about this as well. At some point we are going to have to pledge our lives, treasure, and sacred honor or surely this evil will overcome us.
So, yes, on some level we have to start playing for keeps knowing there will be a cost. I’d be willing to bet that by making a boycott stand that he would incur more customer favor than by showing up and doing a measly amount of business on top of the ill-will that will attach like a barnicle.
Well, Olien felt he could 'glom onto' the outdoor scene and make some bucks at this show - okay, it's capitalism. That outdoor scene includes many, many of its exhibitors who are gun sellers, gun accessory sellers, etc. They decided to boycott a promoter who apparently is in this only for the money and is a liberal pussy freedom-taker at heart. Olien has to live with his choice here....he'd better choose wisely. If he exhibits, I'll damned sure look twice at any cup-holder for outdoors I ever see, for sure.
The big exhibitors should initiate and finance a class action style lawsuit against the promoter. With exhibitors like Cabela's among the protestors it is clear that they can afford enough lawyers to take Reed Expo to the woodshed.