Boost in outdoor recreation is group's aim - Albuquerque Journal

Boost in outdoor recreation is group’s aim

Hikers walk along Pino Trail in the Elena Gallegos Open Space in November 2016. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

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A coalition of businesses aimed at outdoor recreation has formed a trade group, endeavOR New Mexico, which will go live Monday, said co-executive director Jim Glover of Once A Day Marketing.

The goal is to “be a balanced and unified voice for outdoor recreation businesses positively contributing to the outdoor economy,” he said.

Glover and fellow co-executive director Marianne Tenenbaum, who are partners in Once A Day, helped develop Farmington’s highly successful Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative which has helped ease the Four Corners’ reliance on the energy sector.

“Diversification is what we needed,” said endeavOR board president Dale Davis, who owns 505 Cycles in Farmington. “… We’re very energy dependent to drive our local economy. … That’s what created the need.”

Locally owned and run businesses form the backbone of the state’s outdoor recreation economy, which directly supports $1.2 billion in income and more than 33,500 jobs, according to a report commissioned by the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division, which was created last year.

The new organization is working hand-in-hand with the state to try to ensure ongoing job and wealth creation for current and future outdoor recreation businesses.

“Other states have united their outdoor recreation businesses under a single, advocacy-focused mission to great effect,” said Axie Navas, division director. “With the formation of endeavOR, New Mexico takes a huge leap forward in solidifying and recognizing outdoor recreation’s role as a major economic driver.”

Colorado, Arizona and Utah all already have extremely successful organizations that help boost those states’ incomes. New Mexico has many of the same opportunities but is not as well known, especially outside this region.

“We can be part of the voice that gets people coming to our state because we have so much to offer here,” Davis said. “I believe the surrounding states and the rest of the country doesn’t even know we’re here.”

The goal, of course, is to change that quickly, he said.

“What I see is the fact that outdoor recreation for our state in the future becoming one of the biggest economic drivers that we have,” Davis said.

Word of the organization has been moving around the state by word of mouth and already is generating interest, said Corey Spoores, board treasurer and owner of MST Adventures in Albuquerque.

“Right now, even though we’re just launching, we’re seeing a lot of interest from a lot of individual businesses that want to be a part of this,” he said. “… We can be a much bigger voice for the fragmented groups that are here already.”

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