Outdoor Recreation is a base industry and an instrumental component to rural economies in Colorado today and into the future. It is becoming, as a category, one of the top drivers with respect to GDP and jobs, currently at 28B in CO and 230k jobs. Outdoor Recreation’s role in and benefit to the economy includes;
- clean industry
- promotes well-being
- retains our youth
- serves as recruiter for companies and talent
- imports dollars into communities
- Creates brand story for communities and impacts culture
I have been a participant in the Outdoor Industry economy for many years as a member of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), helping to launch dozens of outdoor brands, using OIA research to help build business plans – Little Bear Snowshoes, Mountain Sprouts, Loki, Western Rise, The Dyrt, etc. and have volunteered as a mentor for Camber Outdoors pitchfest participants for the past four years. I brought the first workshop on startup up strategies and raising capital to Outdoor Retailer in 2014. As a member of the Town Council in Palisade, I have been a leader in support of the Palisade Plunge, Cameo Sports Shooting Complex and other rec projects. My involvement in Plunge serves as an example of how I plan to continue my support of the Outdoor Recreation industry – through engaging and facilitating cooperation amongst government, nonprofits, funding agencies, private sector, landowners and citizens. Outdoor recreation infrastructure projects are large and complex. My experience and relationships based on years of involvement in the industry through business development and government will help our region capitalize on the early success of the industry and BE the outdoor capital of Colorado.
Specifically, I would like to carry legislation that stimulates innovation and growth of the Outdoor Industry – incorporating it into the Advanced Industries programs. I feel it will be the #1 driver of many rural economies in the state going forward through direct jobs and quality of life impacts.