More than 600 people from across the region, nation and Canada, representing all facets of the outdoor industry, gathered at the Cherokee last week for the fourth annual Outdoor Economy Conference.
The four-day conference was held at the new Cherokee Convention Center and featured more than 70 speakers, four keynote addresses and 16 breakout sessions. Gear manufacturers, conservation leaders, federal agencies, local officials, business developers, land managers and more were all in attendance to connect with others in the industry, discuss the challenges and work towards continued and sustainable growth of the outdoor economy.
The first Outdoor Economy Conference was a one-day event organized by Western Carolina University in 2016. It has since grown into an annual event, drawing hundreds of people from across the country and even the world to focus on the intersection of the outdoors and business. The conference is now a Mountain BizWorks project.