Economic Summit aims to bring backcountry to the boardroom |

Economic Summit aims to bring backcountry to the boardroom

Former Yampa Valley Data Partners Executive Director Keith Kramer discusses local economic trends at the 2015 Economic Summit at Colorado Mountain College. (Photo by Scott Franz)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — John Bristol hopes residents of Steamboat Springs who may want to start a business or who are simply interested in the local economy will attend the 2018 Economic Summit, which will be held Oct. 19 at Colorado Mountain College’s Allbright Family Auditorium.

“If you’re in business, want to start one or take a keen interest in our economy, then this is the premier event to attend in western Colorado,” said Bristol, who serves as the Steamboat Springs Chamber’s economic development director. “The event will provide timely and valuable content on the national, state and regional economy with engaging speakers. We’ll cover key economic indicators such as wages, demographic trends, workforce and a panel of business leaders.”

If you go

What: 2018 Economic Summit

When: 8 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19

Where: Allbright Family Auditorium, 1275 Crawford Ave.

Cost:$45 for Chamber members; $55 for non-members. Prices increase Oct. 12.

The one-day seminar, which is hosted by the Chamber, begins at 8 a.m. with registration, coffee and networking followed by a line-up of presentations, which continue through 1:30 p.m.

This year’s theme is “Backcountry to Boardroom: The Business of the Outdoors,” and speakers include: Louis Benitez, director of the Governor’s Office of Outdoor Recreation; Elizabeth Garner, state demographer for the State of Colorado; Jessica Valand, director of Colorado Workforce; and Brian Lewandowski, associate director of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Business Research Division.

Laura Cusenbary, senior financial advisor with Wells Fargo, will lead a breakout session on women and investing, and there will be a panel discussion featuring Scott Eckberg, owner of Harvest Skis; Kent Vertrees, owner of Steamboat Powdercats; and Chris Tamucci, director of operations for Big Agnes and Honey Stinger.

The day will conclude with keynote speaker Sarah Walker, the owner and co-founder of Bonsai Design, a successful aerial adventure course design/build firm.

“This year’s Economic Summit will be unique given VF’s announcement to move to Colorado along with Denver landing the OR trade shows,” Bristol said. “As Colorado is fast becoming the hub for companies operating in the outdoor recreational goods space, it’s important for us on the Western Slope to tune in and find opportunities.

“We’ll have the director of the Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Office tell us about this sector … as well as a keynote from Sarah Shrader, the owner of Bonsai Designs, a successful outdoor recreation company,” Bristol added. “If you’re interested in our economy and our community’s economic future, this event will prove valuable.”

To register for the Economic Summit, visit

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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