2023 New Mexico Outdoor Economics Conference; Innovation in The Land of Enchantment

2023 New Mexico Outdoor Economics Conference; Innovation in The Land of Enchantment Main Photo

19 Jun 2023


Through panel discussions, outdoor trips to regional hot spots, and networking receptions, The 2023 New Mexico Outdoor Economics Conference will survey the multidimensional ways in which outdoor recreation can help develop New Mexico’s economy and identity. By centering on successful community economic development strategies, governmental policies, and local entrepreneurship, the 6th annual statewide conference will provide innovative solutions from several sectors. Taking place October 23-25, 2023 in the Santa Fe Convention Center, the conference features top leaders from government, retailers in the outdoor recreation industry, and advocacy organizations. As an organization that represents the Adventure Capital of New Mexico, The Greater Gallup Economic Development Organization plans to attend the conference to promote Gallup-McKinley County to manufacturers of outdoor gear and equipment. 

GGEDC at The 2023 New Mexico Outdoor Economics Conference; An Opportunity for Growth 

Donning her other hat as state legislator, Patty Lundstrom, Executive Director of Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation (GGEDC), successfully introduced House Memorial 18 which the New Mexico Legislature unanimously approved in 2011. The Memorial officially declared the City of Gallup the “Adventure Capital of New Mexico,” recognizing the outstanding array of recreational assets and annual activities available in and around Gallup and McKinley County. Within McKinley County, local residents and visitors can enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, rodeos, 24-hour bike races, and ample hiking trails in the many scenic mountain, forest, and desert areas. 

The Gallup community will uniquely benefit from the different ideas and networking opportunities presented at the conference– which coincides with GGEDC’s strategic industrial recruitment objectives. According to Bruce Armstrong, GGEDC Economic Development Manager, Gallup is looking to expand awareness of outdoor recreation assets and opportunities within Gallup, while simultaneously seeking recreation gear and equipment manufacturers. More specifically, Gallup will highlight the many excellent resources and incentives available within the three McKinley County industrial parks in development. Gallup is an ideal location for new manufacturing operations, as well as established manufacturing companies seeking to expand their operations. 

Armstrong states, “Together with the City of Gallup, we are working to expand the tourism industry here, to draw more people off of I-40 into our amazing wilderness areas, and get them to stay in hotels, inns, and campgrounds in the county.” Moreover, GGEDC supports entrepreneurs seeking to start new outdoor recreation businesses in a way that is authentic to the regional identity and workforce. Armstrong adds, “we are seeking out companies that want to build their brands amidst our uniquely picturesque and rugged landscapes, utilizing our talented workforce– which has a rich history of high quality craftsmanship and careful attention to fine details.”  For GGEDC, attending the Outdoor Economics Conference represents an opportunity to recruit companies, attract retailers and manufacturers, market Gallup and McKinley County, and to network. Through this experience, GGEDC also will contribute to developing the outdoor recreation industry throughout the state.

Building a Beautiful, Clean New Mexico; Honoring the Land of Enchantment  

Screenshot%202023 06-26%20at%207_27_54%20AMIn New Mexico, outdoor recreation is a key targeted industry. In fact, the state’s Outdoor Recreation Division is housed within the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Correspondingly, New Mexico’s renowned natural beauty offers the state plentiful opportunities to create sustainable, clean jobs. Jeff Steinborn, Executive Director of Outdoor New Mexico, states: “Outdoor industry jobs are growing here faster than the national average. It’s a good opportunity for New Mexico to grow and diversify our economies with some clean jobs. That’s what the conference is all about.” 

Steinborn states that a crucial aspect of the conference is that it is intentional about providing insight into best practices. “We want to learn how best to do tourism in a sustainable way that preserves ecosystems, that learns and respects cultural heritage, and that seeks to make it accessible to all income and ability levels. Other states have grown their outdoor economies and have been trampled… One of the goals of the conference is to make sure we bring in the best experts so we can learn how to do it the right way.” 

For communities like Gallup, the 2023 Outdoor Economics Conference accelerates the opportunity to develop and grow a healthy outdoor economy. Armstrong states, “We have an incredible 126 miles of single track mountain biking trails in Zuni National Forest, and the 22-mile High Desert Trail System north of Gallup. To help showcase these remarkable natural wonders, we hope to recruit OR manufacturers, as well as promote opportunities for recreation equipment demonstrations and R&D in and around the rail-served industrial parks we are helping develop in McKinley County.” 

While at the conference, GGEDC will learn priceless strategies about how to develop these plans in a way that harmonizes with the natural landscapes and the people of the region. Stay tuned for more updates on the 2023 New Mexico Outdoor Economic Conference. To learn more about Gallup’s unique recreational landscape, click here. 

Greater Gallup Economic Development Development Corporation

GGEDC expertly works to support economic-based businesses, be they industrial, small businesses, or entrepreneurs. Reach out to us at (505) 722-2980 or via email to see how we can help today! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!