The MBA program currently offers eleven clubs spanning a variety of topics. This blog post highlights the Outdoor Industry Club—a popular one among our class. Many of us moved to Colorado for the exceptional variety of outdoor activities; however this club is about more than making friends with other outdoorsy-people.
The Outdoor Recreation Industry is a newly-defined sector of the United States’ economy. It is responsible for $887 billion in annual consumer spend, and 7.6 million American jobs. In Colorado, the industry accounts for $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue.
The Mission Statement for the Outdoor Industry Club is “To provide Leeds MBAs with opportunities to become familiar with and break into the outdoor industry through networking, speaking engagements, and off-campus treks.” This data is from the Outdoor Recreation Economy Report from April 25, 2017.
The club is co-lead by two presidents Anthony Orig and Liz Sager. I asked them a few questions about their thoughts on the upcoming year:
Which event are you most excited about this year?
Anthony: I'm excited to continue our partnership this year with the Colorado's Outdoor Recreation Office & Project Blueprint. Project Blueprint is a great opportunity where MBA teams consult for small Colorado mountain communities and develop strategic plans for growing their outdoor recreation opportunities. This years’ teams will be working with San Juan County and Trinidad, CO.
Liz: Personally, I’m most excited about Luis Benitez coming to speak to the Outdoor Industry Club. Listening to someone who has summited the top of the famed “Seven Summits” a cumulative 32 times is inspiring in itself. Those experiences combined with his most recent position as first Director for the Office of Outdoor Recreation make his perspective on business and the industry incredibly interesting.
What makes Colorado so exciting for the Outdoor Industry?
Anthony: Colorado is not only home to large firms such as Vail Resorts, but there is also a thriving entrepreneurial spirit here. There is a plethora of retailers and equipment manufacturers that call Colorado home and play a major part in this multi-billion dollar industry. Additionally, Denver is now home to the newly merged Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, which will bring most of the outdoor industry to Denver this January.
Who is your role model in the Outdoor Industry?
Liz: This may be an interesting approach to the question, but I really consider anyone who is getting out there, having fun, challenging themselves, and helping those around them to be a role model. When I moved out from North Carolina, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when it came to mountain activities--but those around me introduced me to the sports they loved. Through them, I fell in love with mountain biking, camping and gained a serious appreciation for maintaining the land we’re lucky enough to play on.