Impact Areas

Overview

Our mission at the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office is to champion industry, communities and people to come to life through Colorado’s great outdoors. We do this by focusing on four impact areas:

  • Economic development

  • Conservation and stewardship

  • Education and workforce training

  • Health and wellness

Our office provides resources for constituents, businesses, and communities that rely on the continued health of the outdoor recreation industry.

Economic Development

The OREC Office works closely with other OEDIT divisions to support the economic health of the outdoor industry. OREC can assist outdoor recreation companies looking to expand or relocate to Colorado navigate state funding incentives that may be available. Through the Rural Technical Assistance Program (RTAP), the state’s plan to encourage growth in rural areas, OREC has partnered with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Masters of the Environment program to work with communities to identify opportunities in strategic planning for the outdoor recreation industry.

More information about state incentives is available here.

Learn more about RTAP here.

EDUCATION & WORKFORCE

Our office works closely with several Colorado higher education institutions that are working to ensure education programs that are focused on the outdoor recreation industry rank highly across the nation. Colorado Mountain College continues to be a great partner in researching new and innovative certificate and degree programs for the outdoor industry. Colorado State University continues to deepen its relationship with the tourism industry by creating a certificate program for adventure travel tourism in association with their Tourism Masters program. The University of Colorado Boulder offers students a Masters of the Environment program focused on sustainability and the environment. Western State is offering the first-of-its-kind Outdoor Industry MBA, which includes an MBA core as well as specialized tracks for either the product or service side of the outdoor industry.

CONSERVATION & STEWARDSHIP

Creating state-supported infrastructure for conservation efforts is necessary to enhance the economic and social impact of outdoor recreation activities. OREC supports the partnership between the Colorado Tourism Office and Leave No Trace. OREC, in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, also supports the SHIFT principles – six principles for advancing outdoor recreation and conservation. SHIFT recognizes that outdoor recreation adds economic stability, diversity, resilience, and prosperity to communities while creating a broader constituency for protecting our natural resources. The principles guide collaboration among outdoor recreationists, conservationists, and public land managers and serve as a starting point for collective, strategic conversations and actions to protect our lands, waters and wildlife.

HEALTH & WELLNESS

The intersection between public health and wellness and the outdoor recreation industry has not often been clearly defined. We are hoping to better define this intersection at a deeper level. Imagine if a health professional or care manager would recommend a hike or bike ride to patients and offer parks, trails, and gear guidance based on the patient’s interest and ability. You can find more information about the intersection between the outdoors and health by reading the Colorado Outdoor Rx report.