Outdoor recreation industry turns gears for Grand Valley

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GRAND VALLEY, Colo. (KKCO) -- From alpine terrain to the open desert, it’s no secret that the Grand Valley has a lot to offer in outdoor recreation. Now one local organization is trying to make the economy roll in the right direction.

Jennifer Stoll, executive director of the Grand Junction Sports Commission, said sports tourism research shows average per person per day spending for a market of our size is between $168 to $221 on outdoor activities and sporting events.

“The goal is just to spring board those events that are already taking place and those opportunities so we can have a cohesive group in the valley that’s bringing people in through tourism, exposing them to the economic development opportunities, and making a long term addition to the diversification of our economy here,” said Stoll.

About $700 is the average household spending for an amateur sporting trip, dollars that Grand Junction has the opportunity to earn.

"There is no doubt a high tide raises all boats. It’s a component of a much large piece of the pie. We are just trying to be a spoke in the wheel if you will, and contribute to the economy in more diverse ways," said Jennifer Stoll.

Estimated visitor spending associated with sports events in 2015 was $9.45 billion nation-wide, according to the National Association of Sports Commissions.

Stoll said the best way to benefit from this multi-billion dollar industry is to pool all resources in the Grand Valley and work as a collective community.

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