OCTOBER 30, 2006 -- FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN)—Interbike has competition. 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.
In addition, the new show will feature a two-day outdoor demo either at nearby Ski Bowl or at a venue near Hood River. Hood River was the site for the former Gorge Games. Ski Bowl, about an hour’s drive east of Portland, is a full-service mountain resort with lift access for bicycles, lodging and trails. It also has an outdoor Adventure Park.
German managers say the time is ripe for a new event. There is growing discontent with Las Vegas as a venue among exhibitors and retailers and the Messe hopes to capitalize on it, they say. Rolf Mohne, the Messe’s managing director, said the Portland event will be organized along the same lines as Eurobike,
The Oregon Convention Center, a non-union facility, has room to host the show, a nearby international airport, a mass transit system and it lies astride Interstate 5, a major north-south freeway.
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.
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