Background: In 2015, Governor Hickenlooper launched the formation of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) (https://choosecolorado.com/key-industries/tourism-outdoor-recreation/). OREC is one of only two offices currently in the nation that provides a central point of contact, advocacy, resources and support at the state level for the diverse constituents, businesses, communities and groups that rely on the continued well being of the outdoor recreation industry. OREC is guided and mentored by leaders and mentors from the outdoor industry through the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Group, of which the TPA’s Don Riggle is a founding member. More info on the Advisory Group can be found at: https://choosecolorado.com/key-industries/tourism-outdoor-recreation/outdoor-recreation-advisory-group/
The OREC gathered outdoor industry champions from across the state in Grand Junction on Oct. 5 – 6, 2017 for the second annual Colorado Outdoor Industry Leadership Summit (COILS). As the OREC strives to foster a flourishing recreation-based economy in Colorado, OREC invited and assembled leaders from all over the state’s outdoor industry for a cooperative working session to help establish and execute a vision for the future. Attendees included CEOs, state and federal government officials, executive directors, entrepreneurs, students, and leaders from across the state that represented different cross-sections of the outdoor economy in Colorado. The day and half summit provided opportunities for networking, idea exchanges and expert discussions designed to catalyze the action the State needs to take to elevate and sustain the flourishing outdoor economic systems in Colorado. Topics included economic development, conservation, education, workforce recruiting and training along with the health and wellness benefits of recreating outdoors. Discussions and presentations included business growth and topics such as cultural loans for small outdoor recreation businesses to pursue the obtaining of capital.
The TPA attended this year’s COILS event to represent and advocate for multiple use/motorized recreation. The TPA observed that there are exceptional opportunities for small businesses supporting multiple use/motorized recreation to be recognized by the OREC and leverage the collective efforts that are being made on a statewide platform to promote, grow and encourage outdoor reaction activities including motorized and OHV recreation. The multiple use/motorized business segment was noticeably under represented at the COILS event amongst the plethora of businesses and organizations supporting non-motorized activities.
The COILS event is expected to continue to be a reoccurring assembly of outdoor industry leaders. Opportunities for businesses that support multiple use/motorized recreation ought to consider participation in future summits, and become partners in the discussion and efforts to expand their individual segments of the outdoor recreation industry. Motorsports businesses can add their company information to the State’s Outdoor Recreation Directory at: http://directory.choosecolorado.com