February 15, 2018 – In its latest issue, The Business Times takes a look back  the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market and the delegation that joined GJEP in Denver last month to promote Colorado’s Grand Valley, aka the Outdoor Capital of Colorado. Here’s the scoop:

“A local delegation attended the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver to promote the Grand Valley as the capital of Colorado — [at] least in terms of outdoor recreation.

‘We made exhibitors aware there’s another side to the state where the outdoor recreation opportunities are infinitely better, more affordable and more accessible,’ said Robin Brown, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

The delegation also included Rick Taggart and Greg Caton, the mayor and city manager of Grand Junction; Lori Buck and Mike Bennett, the mayor and city manager of Fruita; Juliann Adams, executive director of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce; and other representatives of the business community.

The delegates split into groups at the trade show to meet with more than 300 exhibitors as well as talk about business opportunities for outdoor-related companies. GJEP shared booth space at the show with Delta and Montrose counties.

GJEP sponsored a concert at the Ogden Theater for more than 1,200 people. The event, hosted by Elevation Outdoors magazine, added the Grand Valley to such brands such as Haibike, Osprey, Otterbox and Upslope Brewing. The event also offered an opportunity to engage with exhibitors outside the trade show, Brown said.

‘Over one quarter of our prospects are in the outdoor recreation industry,’ Brown said. ‘Whenever we get in front of these businesses, they’re amazed at how well the Grand Valley caters to their lifestyle, offering affordable and convenient access to year-round recreation. We’re a great match for the industry.'” (Read the full article here.)

And the industry is big business. Yesterday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released “prototype statistics” that show the outdoor recreation industry accounted for 2.0% of the U.S. GDP in 2012-2016 – the equivalent of $373.7 billion dollars. Read the BEA news release here. The public is invited to provide comments on the initial findings before the BEA releases final statistics this fall.