Colorado appoints new director of outdoor recreation industry


This week, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) appointed Conor Hall as director of the Office of the Outdoor Recreation Industry (OREC).

“Outdoor recreation is not only a key pillar of Colorado’s economy, but also a major contributor to our quality of life, mental health, and physical health. I am thrilled to join OEDIT and partner with Colorado communities, as well as our world-class business and NGO leaders. Together, we will support, attract and grow our outdoor recreation industry to promote sustainable economic growth and expand equitable access while prioritizing our shared goals of clean air, clean water and protection of public lands,” Hall said.

Hall, who grew up in Crestone, CO and spent his summers on a cattle ranch, comes to OREC from The Trust for Public Land, where he was director of conservation strategy, policy, advocacy and government relations for the ‘Intermountain West and led the creation of more than $2 billion in public funding for land and water conservation, climate, and more equitable access to nature through campaign and legislative action . During this same period, he served as vice-president of the Trust for Public Land Action Fund, an affiliated non-profit organization supporting this work.

Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, Hall served as senior climate and conservation advisor to Michael Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign and senior advisor to Governor Hickenlooper, staffing him at all external events and meetings, managing relations around state and country, and advising on speeches, political and communications strategy, and a host of policy decisions, including the creation of the OREC Office in 2015.

“Conor Hall is highly respected for his commitment to the outdoor recreation industry and conservation,” said Carlos Fernandez, Colorado State Director for The Nature Conservancy and member of the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council. “At TNC, we had the pleasure of working with Conor for many years in the Hickenlooper administration as well as at the Trust for Public Land on several projects including the establishment of Fishers Peak State Park. Conor’s experience and passion for people and the outdoors make him an ideal candidate to take on this leadership role.

“Conor brings a wealth of knowledge in outer space, government relations, consensus building and community development, all of which will be vitally important over the next few years as OEDIT strives to deploy the $9.7 million EDA grant that OREC and the tourism office received,” said Patrick Meyers, Executive Director of OEDIT. “This is an important component as we are helping to rebuild the industry outdoors that has been hit so hard by the pandemic.”

Other priorities include working with industry partners on the future of the Outdoor Retailer show and its success in Colorado, implementing the revised “Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry” program through the Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) and the guarantee of sustainable and considered growth. in the use of Colorado’s outdoor recreation assets.

The outdoor industry is an important part of Colorado’s economy. In 2020, Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry accounted for $9.6 billion in consumer spending annually and created 120,000 direct jobs. The Colorado OREC office has played a vital role both in the state and as a national thought leader and pioneer with the creation of the Confluence agreements encouraging other states across the country to establish OREC offices.

Hall is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, SUP and kayaking. He is a cancer survivor who proudly sits on the alumni advisory board of the non-profit First Descents and mentors other young people battling cancer. He is also a national board member of anti-bullying nonprofit Stand for Courage and is a 2019 McKinsey Academy Leadership Fellow.

Hall graduated from Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Political Science and Government from Earlham College in Richmond, IN. He replaces Nathan Fey, who left OEDIT to take up the position of director of land and water programs at the Colorado-based Mighty Arrow Family Foundation. Hall’s first day will be February 22, 2022.

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