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Gov. Hickenlooper Visits Colorado's Grand Valley in Support of Outdoor Industry

The outdoor recreation industry in the State of Colorado contributes $994 million in state and local tax revenue, and employs over 350,000 Coloradoans, making it a key industry for the state. A region in west Colorado known as the Grand Valley is poised to become a national hub for the industry.

Grand Junction, CO, May 14, 2016 --( Governor John Hickenlooper and delegates from the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office will be visiting Mesa County on Sunday, May 15, to support the outdoor recreation industry on Colorado’s Western Slope.

The Governor and his team will participate in a host of public meetings with area elected officials and members of the business community in Palisade, Fruita and Grand Junction. The Governor also plans to explore the Valley by bike in between meetings. The day will culminate with a happy hour at The Avalon Theatre, hosted by the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) and the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley, an industry advocacy group that launched in 2015.

“We are proud to have the Governor and his team here, and to be able to show them first-hand the strength of our outdoor recreation industry,” said Kristi Pollard, Executive Director of GJEP. “It is one of the priority industries for GJEP’s business recruitment efforts, and one that has a growing impact on both our local and statewide economy.”

In recognition of the industry’s increased importance for the state, the Governor opened the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office last year and appointed experienced outdoor enthusiast and adventurist, Luis Benitez, as its director. Both the Governor and Benitez have cited Colorado’s Grand Valley as a key driver of business opportunities in outdoor recreation.

The outdoor recreation industry in Colorado contributes $994 million in state and local tax revenue, and employs over 350,000 Coloradoans. In Mesa County alone, the industry contributes more than $300 million to the local economy. The Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley (ORC), is determined to see that number multiply in coming years.

“The outdoor recreation industry is an economic engine in the Grand Valley,” said Sarah Shrader, owner of Bonsai Design and member of the ORC. “We are job providers and industry innovators. Our collaborative local presence is a huge contributor to economic success for our whole community. We are thrilled to have the Governor’s support in promoting the outdoor recreation industry as a critical key to diversifying our economy in Mesa County. The Grand Valley is on the path to become the outdoor destination in the state of Colorado - a place where you can bike, ski, moto, fish, and paddle the Colorado river all in the same weekend.”

“It is very encouraging having the support of the Governor,” echoed Tim Fry, president of MRP, a manufacturer of high-end bike components based in Grand Junction. “MRP focuses on leveraging the abundant local outdoor recreation for product development, talent recruitment, and telling our company story. It is a message that resonates with our customers and our team. With a local push and the Governor’s support, the Grand Valley can become a hub for the outdoor recreation industry in Colorado, and the nation.”

About the Grand Junction Economic Partnership
The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) works to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in Colorado’s Grand Valley by attracting, retaining and expanding business. GJEP supports a diverse and driven business community in the cities of Fruita and Grand Junction; the Town of Palisade; Mesa County and surrounding regions.

About the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley
The Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley (ORC) formed in 2015 when several business owners met for happy hour after a session with the Northstar Study marketing group hired by the City of Grand Junction. The ORC evolved into a grassroots organization that has grown exponentially over the last year, becoming a voice for not only outdoor recreation manufacturers, service and event providers, and retailers, but also for those who envision our valley developing into a thriving and vibrant economy for young families and growing businesses to relocate. Our mission is to expand and enhance the economy of the Grand Valley through collaborative support and promotion of outdoor recreation businesses and resources.
Contact Information
Grand Junction Economic Partnership
Cilia Kohn

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