Buena Vista resident Mike Volke hangs loose atop Mount Massive, Colorado’s second tallest mountain, on a perfect day for a climb.

Colorado’s Central Mountain Small Business Development Center will host an in-person outdoor industry summit from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 25 at the Salida SteamPlant and Event Center as well as online in live, virtual format.

Two dozen speakers are scheduled to present on topics such as growth and scale opportunities, public land stewardship, sustainable tourism education and funding resources.

Greater Arkansas River Nature Association executive director Dominique Naccarato and Envision Chaffee County’s Kim Marquis and Cindy Williams said the summit is something they’ve long anticipated as events like these had to be canceled over the past 18 months.

They said the summit is a great opportunity to foster communication between outdoor recreation businesses and the community.

As outdoor recreation visitation grows and associated businesses benefit, they said, infrastructure and education will need to grow as well to ensure community integrity and continued benefit to businesses.

“I am looking forward to bringing the outdoor recreation community together and sharing ideas,” said Chaffee County Visitors Bureau marketing director Scott Peterson. “Tourism is the backbone to the economy in Chaffee County.”

Peterson said jobs and local tax revenues depend on visitors.

“The outdoor recreation business climate in Chaffee County is healthy and ripe for healthy expansion,” said county commissioner Keith Baker. “We have an opportunity to share our vision of outdoor recreation with others, from potential manufacturers, distributors and service providers to guides and operators, and communicate our concepts of low-impact recreation and full-spectrum sustainability with all.”

Baker detailed different ways that the public and private sector can work toward mutual benefit, and said the summit provides one opportunity to come together for that purpose.

“The event will attract some of the top outdoor brands and actors from across the state,” said Dan Omasta, north central program officer for Great Outdoors Colorado. “This is an opportunity for Chaffee County to highlight its continued growth as a significant recreation destination.”

Omasta pointed to Chaffee County’s high concentration of natural assets and the recent explosion of growth.

“I am looking forward to learning more about the future of recreation in Colorado, including the social and environmental stewardship opportunities of our outdoor industry partners,” he said.

To find out more about the summit or register to attend, visit centralsbdc.org/home/events-outdoor-industry-summit/

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