Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Culture, Economy, Environment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Ouray Ice Park’s rebound from rockfall is a test case for how Colorado can help tourism communities recover

Fans of ice climbing were not the only ones cheering at the Ouray Ice Festival last weekend.  The state’s bosses of tourism and outdoor recreation were watching closely as thousands gathered in Ouray’s famed ice park, a rally supported by an unprecedented wave of grants designed to pull the community back from the pandemic.  And […]

Posted inColoradans, COVID, Environment, News, Outdoors

Crested Butte’s new camping rules are restoring resources and producing few complaints — so far

CRESTED BUTTE — On a Saturday morning at the end of July, Aaron Drendel, a recreation staff officer with the U.S. Forest Service’s Gunnison Ranger District, walked through Musicians’ Camp, a group camping area along the Slate River. Recent rain seemed to have scared some campers away, leaving several sites empty, but Drendel was focused […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider

National Ski Patrol, Colorado Mountain College will get “refresh” from former GOCO leader

Chris Castilian is stepping away after a four-year run as Great Outdoors Colorado’s executive director with his checklist completed.  He developed a new strategic vision for Lottery-funded investment in Colorado communities. He helped create the new Fishers Peak State Park. He directed more than $270 million in GOCO grants. And his team spread six regional […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Outdoors

Leadville’s gear-lending “library” is tearing down barriers to build a new generation of outdoor adventurers

LEADVILLE — Vanessa Saldivar was 5 when her father hiked her up the bunny slope at Mt. Hood Skibowl in Oregon. She didn’t have a fancy jacket. She used socks as mittens. Her dad gave her a nudge. And she was hooked.  “All these barriers just broke down in that moment,” said the new executive […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns, Outdoors

Opinion: Let’s create jobs in the outdoors because hard work pays off for all of us

From 1936-41, workers enlisted as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) helped construct and open to the public Colorado’s famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. One of the most popular of all New Deal programs, the CCC provided 3 million jobs for young men challenged to find employment during the Great Depression. It improved workers’ physical […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News, Outdoors

GOCO’s transition to new grant distribution strategy creates avenue for Colorado coronavirus relief

Since voters amended Colorado’s constitution in 1992 to create Great Outdoors Colorado, the trust has directed lottery dollars into 5,300 projects in all 64 of the state’s counties. Last year GOCO toured the state and crafted a new way to distribute funds through a values-based approach that could stir legacy-type projects across entire regions.  The […]

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

U.S. Forest Service ranks protecting Colorado’s Sweetwater Lake high on its list of funding priorities

The U.S. Forest Service last week released its list of top priority land acquisitions for 2021 and the purchase of 488 acres around Garfield County’s Sweetwater Lake made the top 10.  After a year-long campaign to acquire and protect the lake and surrounding acreage in the shadow of the Flat Tops Wilderness, the Forest Service […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, News, Outdoors

Ski Cooper’s expanded expert terrain, financial vibrancy reveal model for nonprofit ski area management

TENNESSEE PASS — In the shadow of clashing giants that are transforming the ski resort industry, the publicly owned, non-profit Ski Cooper ski area is thriving. Skier visits have set records for many years in a row, even in seasons when state and national visits decline. Same for total revenue and net income. Income per […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, Health, News, Outdoors

Nearly half of Americans didn’t go outside to recreate in 2018. That has the outdoor industry worried.

For the glass-half-full crowd that makes up the outdoor industry, the results of the latest outdoor participation survey are sobering. Outdoor businesses need people to get outside, but almost half of Americans don’t venture outdoors to play. The steady decline in participation threatens not just the bottom line but the outdoor industry’s mission to collectively […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, Outdoors

One-way-only mountain bike trail ups the adrenaline on Clear Creek County’s emerging trail network

FLOYD HILL — Mike Orr skids his Yeti mountain bike into the parking lot and pumps his fist.  “It’s a good time to be alive,” Orr says to a group of fellow mountain bikers preparing to ride. “Mountain bike trails keep getting better. Mountain bikes, too. This is why I ride.” Orr had just bombed […]