Colorado’s Grand Valley Makes Big Impact at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market

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Grand Junction Economic Partnership and partners launch “Outdoor Capital of Colorado” campaign at Colorado’s first Outdoor Retailer tradeshow.

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

Recently, the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) invited a 20-person delegation to represent Colorado’s Grand Valley at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver. This was the first time the leading tradeshow for the outdoor recreation industry took place in the Centennial State.

“GJEP had attended the Outdoor Retailer markets in Salt Lake City for many years with smaller delegations, but we felt it was important to make a bigger statement at the first show to take place in Colorado,” said GJEP Executive Director Robin Brown. “We made exhibitors aware there’s another side to the state where the outdoor recreation opportunities are infinitely better, more affordable and more accessible.”

The delegation included: Mayor Rick Taggart and City Manager Greg Caton of the City of Grand Junction; Mayor Lori Buck and City Manager Mike Bennett of the City of Fruita; Juliann Adams, Executive Director of the Town of Palisade Chamber of Commerce; several members of the local business community and GJEP economic development partners.

The delegates split into groups at the show January 25-27 to meet with over 300 target exhibitors and spread messaging about the business opportunities for outdoor-related companies in the Grand Valley. GJEP also shared booth space with Delta and Montrose counties, where the delegates could host media interviews and showcase local outdoor recreation businesses and amenities.

On the Friday evening, GJEP sponsored a concert event at the Ogden Theater for over 1,200 people. The event, hosted by Elevation Outdoors magazine, placed the Grand Valley in the company of 14 recognizable brands such as Osprey, Otterbox, Haibike and Upslope Brewing Company. It also allowed the opportunity to invite and engage with Outdoor Retailer exhibitors beyond the tradeshow.

“Over one quarter of our prospects are in the outdoor recreation industry,” said Brown. “Whenever we get in front of these businesses, they are 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.”

The tradeshow efforts were augmented by a large-scale marketing campaign that included billboards outside the Denver convention center, internal kiosks and some digital and print advertising, inviting exhibitors and attendees to visit the other side of the mountain. The “Outdoor Capital of Colorado” campaign was funded through a match grant received by GJEP, Visit Grand Junction and the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission from the Colorado Tourism Office last November. The grant supports “Outdoor Capital of Colorado”, a joint marketing campaign to promote outdoor recreation in the Grand Valley and encourage Outdoor Retailer exhibitors to spend time on the western side of the state before and after 2018 markets.


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 supporting high-impact capital investment and job creation. Operating as a private non-profit, GJEP offers free services to organizations interested in relocation or expansion in the cities of Grand Junction and Fruita, the town of Palisade and surrounding regions – and we are proud to represent Colorado’s first Rural Jump-Start tax credit zone, Mesa County, which provides eligible businesses with an 8-year tax holiday. Visit for more information.

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Cilia Kohn
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