ST. LOUIS – Dot Foods, an Illinois-based food industry redistributor, plans to move an annual trade show from St. Louis to Denver starting next year due to crime concerns.

The St. Louis Business Journal first reported on this decision Friday. Dot Foods has held its annual show for nearly 20 years at the America’s Center Convention Complex. However, CEO Dick Tracy told the Business Journal some customers and employees share concerns about safety around downtown.

Dot Foods will continue with a convention planned next week at America’s Center from June 13-15. According to the Business Journal, the company might consider bring the show back to St. Louis after 2024.

Greater St. Louis, Inc. shared the following statement with FOX 2 on the decision on behalf of CEO Jason Hall:

“The business community has been clear that improving public safety is critical to achieving economic growth and greater prosperity for all.  We have a violent crime crisis in our region and we need a regional solution.

“The changes we have advocated for, including a change in leadership and direction at the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office and metro-wide collaboration to address the homicide crisis, have begun to bear fruit over the past few weeks.  

“This announcement by Dot Foods is another proof point of how critical it is that we address violent crime as a region, but also that we must increase investment in infrastructure, activation, and increased law enforcement presence in Downtown, specifically, because of its criticality to the long-term growth of the City and the entire metro.  

“Our work as a business community to strengthen public safety, attract new investment, and improve activations in Downtown is evidenced by City Social, Market Off Market, the Last Missouri Exit mural, the new marathon, and other activations. Greater St. Louis, Inc. has led by example by recommitting ourselves to a new 10-year lease in Downtown.  

“We will continue to partner with the City, law enforcement, and others to invest in and activate Downtown St. Louis. But the need for the public-sector investment we have been calling for to ensure growth is urgent and the time for it is now.” 

Dot is considered one of the largest food service redistribution companies in the United States, offering more than 112,000 products from 830 food industry manufacturers.