Celebrating Colorado’s Unparalleled Outdoor Recreation: Governor Polis Announces Outside Festival

DENVER ~ Denver, CO - In a joint announcement today, Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) revealed plans for the first ever Outside Festival to be held at Denver's Civic Center Park on June 1-2, 2024. This highly anticipated event will showcase Colorado's renowned outdoor recreation lifestyle and industry while promoting accessibility to the great outdoors.

Governor Polis expressed his excitement for the festival, stating that "Colorado's great outdoors are part of who we are, and our thriving outdoor recreation industry is not only a lot of healthy fun, but also an economic engine for our state." He believes that the Outside Festival will not only celebrate outdoor recreation but also contribute to its growth and introduce more Coloradans to the benefits of spending time outside.

The Outside Festival is a collaboration between Outside Interactive Inc., OREC, and VISIT DENVER, with production by Groundswell Experiential and consultation from Superfly. The multi-day event will feature live music, adventure films, thought-provoking speakers, immersive experiences, and the latest outdoor gear. The organizers aim to inspire and promote outdoor pursuits for both personal health and environmental well-being while setting an example for sustainable practices.

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Outside CEO Robin Thurston shared their mission to get everyone outside and inspire them to experience all that nature has to offer. "We're on a mission to get everyone outside and to inspire, educate, and activate more people," he said.

VISIT DENVER President and CEO Richard Scharf expressed his enthusiasm for hosting the festival in Denver. "We are thrilled to welcome the Outside Festival to Denver," he said. "The Mile High City has a long history and reputation of being a center for health and wellness."

The Denver Art Museum will serve as the main venue for films and speakers during the festival. Other partners include the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which will host activities for kids, and Adaptive Adventures, which plans to provide an adaptive climbing experience.

OREC Director Conor Hall emphasized the significance of hosting the Outside Festival in Colorado. "There is no better place to reimagine outdoor industry events than in Colorado," he said. "Outdoor recreation contributes more than $62 billion to our state's economy and supports over 500,000 jobs."

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To ensure that the festival reaches a diverse audience, organizers have formed a Community Engagement Council to advise and assist with outreach to youth and communities that have faced barriers to participating in outdoor recreation.

Juan Perez Saez, Executive Director for Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), expressed his excitement for the festival's potential impact on underrepresented communities. "This event represents a significant step towards supporting our young, BIPOC, environmental leaders of today and tomorrow," he said. "By coming together with like-minded organizations, businesses, and leaders, we are committed to advocating for our communities to engage with nature."

To support the development of the festival, the Colorado Economic Development Commission (EDC) has approved $440,000 in funding.

The Outside Festival invites the entire outdoor community to join in this celebration of adventure, music, and unity this summer in Denver. For more information and tickets, visit www.theoutsidefestival.com.

Filed Under: Government, State

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