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The original item was published from 3/7/2019 12:42:27 PM to 3/8/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: March 7, 2019

[ARCHIVED] The City of Aspen Hosting Second Symposium Geared toward Strengthening Colorado’s Recreational Econo


The City of Aspen Hosting Second Symposium Geared toward Strengthening Colorado’s Recreational Economy

Contact: Phillip Supino, Long Range Planner, City of Aspen, 970-429-2767 or

Aspen, Colorado – March 7, 2019 – The City of Aspen is hosting its second symposium called, Aspen Ascent, which brings together state leaders, industry professionals, and local governments with the goal of leveraging Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry to enhance economic growth statewide and for the benefit of national and international companies.  Running March 31- April 2, Aspen Ascent will feature three days of panel discussions exploring data, trends, current research, and governmental programs and partnerships that work in tandem to bolster the economies and workforces of towns and cities across Colorado while promoting engagement from outdoor industry.

“Since the very beginning of setting this Uphill economy goal for the City of Aspen, I have been focused on how mountain towns, such as ours, can diversify and grow its economy while also paying homage to the ski roots that built such Colorado destinations,” said Aspen Mayor Steven Skadron.

“Symposiums such as this one, which gathers all the key players into the same room, move Colorado forward with the goal of creating new public-private partnerships and identifying tangible next steps in building our economy and strengthening the relationship between governments and our business partners.”

Representatives from The North Face, La Sportiva, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, U. S. Forest Service, Aspen Skiing Company, and Aspen Chamber Resort Association will be some of the featured speakers.  

"Uphill ski activities have extended beyond the trailhead to become an emerging attraction at lift-serviced resorts. Uphill participants are motivated by the health benefits of earning their turns and the history of the sport. According to Longwoods International, Colorado is by far the top destination for skiing and attracts more than 20 percent of skiing trips in the U.S. Uphill ski/snowboard travel is the latest way outdoor recreation is engaging participants of all ages,” said Nathan Fey, Deputy Director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation.    

The symposium kicks off with a dinner and panel discussion focusing on Aspen’s Uphill Initiative, a program initiated by Mayor Skadron with the goal of diversifying the City’s economic base with the burgeoning sector of ascent-oriented recreation and fitness.  By tapping into the trend of uphill skiing, opportunities for research and development, product testing, manufacturing, guiding, and infrastructure development naturally follow.  This panel will explore how Aspen is creating a model of economic growth that relies on public-private partnership.

The base of the success of Aspen’s Uphill Initiative is the connection between mountain economies, recreation, and government.  The symposium will go on to explore these ideas focusing on success stories in mountain towns and how Aspen’s captured data provides tangible insight to future development opportunities.

A discussion on Uphill Market Research will reveal the profile of who spends time and money pursuing uphill fitness, how much money they spend, and where they seek their recreational opportunities.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade will offer statistics and information on future initiatives in the outdoor industry including insights on seasonality, workforce development, infrastructure supports, public-private partnerships, and regional integration.

Other panels will feature women and the outdoor industry, market research take-aways, how community development can leverage the outdoor recreation industry, and community partnerships.

Limited space is still available for industry participation.

The Symposium will culminate with a group uphill ski at Tiehack ski area open to the community that will feature Aspen local guides and uphill stakeholders.

To learn more and to sign up:


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