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The Colorado Outdoor Industry Summit is in the history books now, and it has been called a resounding success. Sustainable processes and resources were shared via entrepreneurial industry innovators and leaders to an audience of 172 registered attendees coming from across the rural areas of our state.

“This year’s Summit was awe-inspiring, offering tools and resources for small business development and social entrepreneurism to lead a path forward by tapping into entrepreneurial energy to begin to solve community challenges facing our society,” says the Outdoor Industry Summit creator Jamie Billesbach.

Real-life examples from Colorado social entrepreneurs included mountainFlow, TripOutside, Callosum, and Clif Bar & Company.

Other small biz support included a statewide funding panel that showcased examples of Outdoor Industry businesses that they funded. The panel shared how others can obtain funding. The crisis in housing for the outdoor industry was front and center, with a workforce housing panel discussing what they are doing to address this industry-wide challenge.

Innovation focused on sustainability best practices was a well-attended segment shared by the Editor-in-Chief of Elevation Outdoors Doug Schnitzspahn, Director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office Conor Hall, the Director of Greater Arkansas River Nature Association Dominique Naccarato, Cindy Williams with the Chaffee County Outdoor Recreation Management Plan and the Chaffee County Visitors Bureau Adventure by Nature video education series.

The industry-wide move toward diversity, equity, and inclusion opportunities and challenges was an important conference topic addressed by Keynote Speaker Earnest House, Jr. House is the Senior Policy Director and Director, Center for Tribal and Indigenous Engagement for Keystone Policy Center.

He was joined by the Commissioner of Colorado Parks & Wildlife Taishya Adams,  who is a passionate and dedicated servant leader laser-focused on liberation through connection, personal transformation, and collective responsibility.

Educational leaders from Colorado Mountain College, University of Colorado Boulder, The Wright Collegiate Challenge and Wild Rhythms explored the many opportunities in outdoor education and sustainable tourism in the Outdoor Industry.

The day was full of shared experiences of purpose-led journeys. This included examples of what is working and making an impact, (as opposed to less successful attempts which became learning experiences. The extended breaks and outdoor exhibition hall allowed for interactive collaborations and connections with speakers, attendees, and industry leaders.

Readers can download the virtual online program packed full of evergreen resources and links to this spectacular summit.

The summit was sponsored by:

High Country Bank, Chaffee County Visitors Bureau, Colorado Small Business Development Center, The Office of Economic Development & International Trade, JVAM a Mountain Law Firm, Colorado Housing & Finance Authority, Startup Colorado, The Wright, My Lovely SpacesLeadville Twin Lakes, The Lobby Salida, and One More Day.

For more details visit . Announcement was made at the OUtdoor INdustry Summit that the 2023 fall Summit will be held at the Leadville CMC Campus