I was in Denver for Outdoor Retailer this week. With the January show combining the winter and summer shows, this was a pretty big convention. The outdoor industry is alive and well as this was a pretty packed week.
Mostly it is all of the cool outdoor gear that you can walk around and drool at, but with all of the ski stuff combined with the summer sports it was quite a collection of companies. I was able to catch up with a few old friends with some companies that show off gear from all seasons like Giro, Marmot, POC and Scott. I was also able to meet the CEO of Osprey, a Colorado-based pack company who I had only met through email in the past.
For most people, this is the only time the industry catches up face-to-face while communicating via phone and email the rest of the year. t is a chance to see all the new gear coming out during the next year and share a drink with some folks from a company you may work closely with but remotely.
I took in a couple presentations with the best one being one about the strain on our outdoor spaces with panelists including the Outdoor Alliance from Maine and the Colorado Tourism Office. It was a very interesting conversation about dispersion of visitors to parks and outdoor spaces and what agencies do to make sure they have the resources necessary to keep up these spaces. Great insight from some pros who have been fighting the fight. I was also able to grab lunch with Matthew Payne, a good friend of mine for many years and the CEO of the Denver Sports Commission. Lots going on in Denver and they have set a pretty high bar for themselves! Definitely looking forward to coming back to Outdoor Retailer for the summer show in June.