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Outdoor Industry Summit - In Person

Mon 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Topic: Managing a Business

Held at the SteamPlant Event Center alongside the Arkansas River in Salida, CO. Now available via In Person Conference or Hybrid Live Virtual experience! The Outdoor Industry Summit is an exploration of growth/scale opportunities, stewardship & education for those operating an outdoor recreation business or nonprofit in the Central Mountain region of Colorado. Others in the state are welcome too! We will combine Central Mountain adventure tourism-based industry businesses and the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association, and diverse community minded support resources to educate and protect our public lands while still promoting tourism and outdoor adventures to all. We will share the many new state funding resources available to rural small businesses/entrepreneurs to contribute to and/or expand their brands and purpose driven joint ventures. Finally, this summit will hold the space to collaborate on methodologies to tap into entrepreneurial energy to address community scale challenges facing our rural area (i.e. workforce, housing, childcare, social inequities, environmental concerns etc.). View details and updates at

Speaker(s): Overview Agenda: We are thrilled to bring you a diverse lineup of keynotes, guest speakers and panelists for this year’s Summit. 8:00 am - Registration - Consociating  8:30 am - Welcome  8:45 am - "Funding Opportunities for Your Outdoor Industry Business" Meet three different investors who are focused on supporting entrepreneurs in rural Colorado and/or have a commitment to make their community or world a better place. Hear about what they are looking for in a startup or scaling up business concept. Panelists: Alice Havill, Vice President Colorado Impact Fund - CIF was created to support a growing entrepreneurial and impact ecosystem throughout the state of Colorado.  Cory Finney, Partner Greater Colorado Venture Fund - We are a venture capital fund investing in early stage startups headquartered across the state of Colorado, outside of the Front Range. We are working to inspire innovation in communities overlooked by venture funds. Brian Rose, Deputy Director Region 9 Economic Development District - Region 9 was awarded CARES Act funding to lend to start-up and emerging businesses who are located anywhere in “rural” Colorado. My loan program seeks to help businesses who may not be able to obtain adequate bank financing or investment capital to meet their full project needs. 9:30 am - "The Chaffee County Outdoor Recreation Management Plan: Keeping Outdoor Recreation Clean, Fun and Wild for Years to Come" Cindy Williams, Envision Chaffee County and Dominique Naccarato, Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA). The projected growth of visitors in our region will be shared. The Chaffee Recreation Council will share the new county-wide, all-lands recreation plan developed by community leaders, County and municipal governments, USFS, BLM and CPW. Our community has an inextricable cultural, social and economic relationship with the land, which holds special importance for local quality of life and livelihoods. The Chaffee Rec Plan works to maintain our natural resources, exceptional experiences and economy through 30 strategic programs, including adding enforcement, expanding volunteerism, recreation rangers and critical infrastructure projects. 9:55 am – Break  10:10 am - "The Adventure by Nature Program Benefits and Storytelling Features" - Scott Peterson, Director Chaffee County Visitors Bureau and Angel Roswell, Discovery Pass. 10:30 am - "Beyond Revenue: Adding Purpose To Your Brand" - Callosum - Cultivate Brands. Elevate Outdoors, Founder, Clare Hefferren. Callosum guides outdoor and mountain lifestyle brands through critical strategic thinking, disruptive brand story creation, and brand marketing which result in measurable cultivated relationships. 11:15 am - "Public Relations Insights to Inspire Consumers & Gain Influencers" - Chris Dickerson and Becca Katz - Verde Brand Communications - experts at aligning consumer-driven strategies with your brand goals and seamlessly executing integrated, omnichannel marketing communications and digital strategies. This is PR today: agile, coordinated, and integral to building traction across all of your sales and marketing channels. 11:30 am - "Our Outdoor Industry Innovators" Panel Presentation: April Archer, Founder/CEO Sara Bella Fishing Travis Hochard, GM River Runners & VP of Arkansas River Outfitters Association  Robin Hall, Co-Founder and CEO of Town Hall Outdoor Co 12:15 pm – Lunch  12:40 pm - Lunch Presentation by Dan Omasta, North Central Program Officer, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) 1:00pm - “Diversity & Equity in the Outdoor World" Sholeh Mirzai - Director of Global & Regional Merchandising: Jansport & Easpak (VF Outdoor), Co-Chair, Commerce Pillar : ACE Diversity ERG at VF & Co-Founder of Jansport Justice & Equity Council 1:25 pm - "CO Outdoor Recreation Industry" Nathan Fey, Director of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office.  A Central Point of contact, advocacy, and resources at the state level for the diverse constituents, businesses, and communities that rely on the continued health of the outdoor recreation economy.  1:45 pm - Break 2:00 pm - "Education with the Outdoor Industry Ecosystem" Natalie Ooi, Ph.D. University of Colorado Boulder. Masters of the Outdoor Recreation Economy Program Amy Smallwood, M.A., Program Director for Wellness, Outdoor Studies, and Wilderness programs at Colorado Mountain College 2:20 pm - Breakout Work Sessions Based on Interest and Topics: Conservation & Stewardship, Education & Messaging, Training & Business Support, Funding Opportunities & Support Programs, Economic Development, and Arkansas River & Public Lands 3:00 pm - Reports from Breakout Sessions 3:50 pm ish - Overview of Trade Table Show - Next Steps and Thank you  4:00 pm ish – Trade Show Opens 5:00 pm Open to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs & Spa and Other Chosen Adventures

Co-Sponsor(s): Created and Presented by Central Mountain SBDC. Sponsored By: Startup Colorado, OEDIT, The Lobby at The Palace Hotel, Kate Woolman State Farm, Thought Distillery Co-sponsored by: Greater Arkansas River Nature Association, Envision Chaffee County, Chaffee County Visitors Bureau, Chaffee County Community Foundation, and Chaffee County Small Business Alliance

Come early and stay late! Click to view our saved room blocks Explore our Central Mountain Regions: Fourteen Mountains Over 14,000 Feet World Famous Gold Medal Arkansas River 80% Public Lands Two Natural Hot Springs Browns Canyon National Monument And a Community Inspired Spirit for Adventure Visit

Fee: $ 60.00

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Phone: 719-221-0374


Central Mountain SBDC
In Person or Hybrid LIVE Virtual
339 East Highway 50, Suite 104 Salida, CO 81201
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