Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors

A few questions for Conor Hall, the new director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Conor Hall took the reins of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office a little more than three weeks ago, just as the office began handling a flood of federal grant money and addressed the departure of Denver’s Outdoor Retailer trade shows. “If feels like it’s been dog years,” said the 32-year-old who replaced Nathan Fey, who […]

Posted inColoradans, Energy, News, Outdoors

Tumbling rock destroys bridge to Ouray Ice Park, pipeline to the country’s oldest running hydroelectric power plant

Workers arriving early at the Ouray Ice Park on Tuesday found a disaster.   A boulder the size of a pool table had sheared off the canyon wall and destroyed the metal walkway accessing the park’s popular ice climbs. And it ripped out the penstock that ferries water to the oldest operating hydropower plant in the […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider

“Outdoor Business Town USA”: Steamboat Springs has become a proving ground for outdoor innovation

With more than 90 and counting, Steamboat Springs is well known as a breeding ground for Olympians. But it’s also just as fertile an environment for outdoor businesses, nurturing them with all the right ingredients to succeed.   Forget its snappy “Ski Town USA” moniker. How about “Outdoor Business Town USA”? Somehow, a veritable Who’s Who […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Colorado’s outdoor opportunity: Open state lands to public access

Colorado’s population and recreation economies are booming. The state’s outdoor opportunities are the catalyst behind this growth.  A side effect of this growth is the strain on existing public lands and recreational infrastructure. Permit systems have been proposed for the Maroon Bells Wilderness, campgrounds are booked months in advance, and anglers stand shoulder to shoulder […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Nathan Fey, director of Colorado’s outdoor recreation office, ferries river conservation and rural economic development skills into his new job

Nathan Fey is the new director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry. Fey, who has served as acting director for the past month, is a sixth-generation Coloradan who spent 12 years as Colorado’s regional director for American Whitewater. He grew the national organization’s network of regional paddling groups to more than 20 from […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Wild places in Colorado need and deserve more protection Westerners, public lands, and the leaders who listen

The question “Do westerners love their outdoors?” is like asking “Does the sun rise in the East?” Their love has been verified time and again, as it was in this year’s Colorado College Conservation in the West poll, which asked voters in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho about their attitudes […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Luis Benitez leaving outdoor recreation office he built to work for outdoor juggernaut VF Corp

Luis Benitez is leaving the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office after almost four years directing the country’s second-ever office of its kind and establishing the state as the epicenter of the outdoor industry. The mountaineer and former Town of Eagle trustee who united Colorado’s diverse outdoor community, helped land the Outdoor Retailer trade shows, lured […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Colorado’s explosive outdoor industry growth is emerging as global model

Luis Benitez is the outdoor industry’s apostle. Carrying the message that the outdoors is a key to economic prosperity and a hale population, he’s helped spark outdoor recreation offices in a dozen states. Now he’s taking his outdoor gospel global. The inaugural boss of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office recently rolled his one-man revival through […]

Posted inEnvironment, Growth, News, Outdoors

Colorado’s recreation roadmap makes it one of the only states to fuse outdoor play, environmental protection

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has infused its latest five-year recreation roadmap with a heaping serving of conservation, making Colorado one of the only states to fuse outdoor play with environmental protection as it struggles to manage an exploding population of adventure-ready residents. Colorado needs the 2019 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, or SCORP, to qualify […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Colorado was ready for California to join states with outdoor recreation offices, but its governor just vetoed it

In the years since 2013, when Utah forged the first office championing outdoor recreation, a deluge of states has followed. Last year, the number of states with an outdoor-recreation office or task force doubled to 11, and more are forming, building momentum for an industry that is flexing its burgeoning economic and political might. And […]