Augusta, MAINE – The Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation and Maine Outdoor Brands are partnering to launch the first ME Outdoor Economy Summit to be held on October 12 and 13 at Thompson’s Point in Portland with a special International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Trail Workshop on October 14.
The Summit will be the premier place for the outdoor industry to come together and focus on the shared vision of advancing Maine’s outdoor recreation economy.
The two-day forum provides a platform for professional development, ideation, and discussions on essential topics at the national, regional and local level impacting Maine’s outdoor recreation economy in the areas of innovation, rural development, workforce, access and equity.
“The Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation and Maine Outdoors Brands encourage Maine outdoor industry partners from across the state to join us at the Summit. The conversations here will be a catalyst for future industry collaborations and growth,” said Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation Director, Carolann Ouellette.
The conference agenda provides time for professionals with an interest in outdoor recreation to network, create new partnerships, discuss the latest topic and trends, share ideas and get inspired. The Summit will also highlight the importance of outdoor recreation for Maine’s overall economy and its deeply rooted connection to the health and well-being of Maine people, places and communities.
“Whether Maine businesses help people to safely enjoy the Maine outdoors, or outfit and equip people to safely explore places beyond our borders, they are vital to Maine’s economic prosperity and growth. In 2020, outdoor recreation made up 3.3% of Maine’s economy – double the national average – and supported more than 28,000 jobs. I am certain that the Maine Outdoor Economy Summit will be a catalyst for future growth in this important sector,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development.
One of the Summit’s plenary sessions features Jessica (Wahl) Turner, executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), America’s leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and organizations, speaking about the economic contribution of outdoor recreation, outdoor industry career paths, rural development and federal policy initiatives. Kelly Davis, director of research at the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) will present the “State of the Outdoor Market.”
“Maine’s outdoor industry plays an invaluable role in the state – creating jobs, attracting talent, and maintaining the incredible recreation resources we have,” said Jenny Kordick, executive director of Maine Outdoor Brands. “The summit is a chance to brush up on the latest trends in consumer spending and participation, learn about innovative ideas and solutions to strengthen our outdoor recreation economy, and network with individuals in the outdoor industry.”
“Boats are a significant part of the historic and growing outdoor vibe throughout our state,” said Maine Marine Trades Association Executive Director, Stacey Keefer. “Our association is pleased to help sponsor the summit and join the collaborative efforts around many common goals and challenges in a diverse economic sector.”
The summit will feature a product showcase of outdoor gear and equipment from Maine companies, a discussion with outdoor industry entrepreneurs in Maine moderated by Ponch Membreño, and a special discussion on workforce development and attracting talent to the industry moderated by Nate Wildes of Live + Work in Maine.
Basecamp, the 40,000 strong network of outdoor industry job seekers and leaders, will host a networking event and hiring fair in conjunction with the Summit, featuring leading brands like L.L.Bean and Appalachian Mountain Club. This free event will be open to anyone who currently works in the outdoor industry or wants to work in the industry in the future.
The ME Outdoor Economy Summit is presented by Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation and Maine Outdoor Brands, and part of their extensive work together to grow Maine’s outdoor recreation economy. Summit sponsors include Maine Marine Trades Association, Blaze, Headlight Audio Visual, Acadia Benefits, Outdoor Industry Association, Malone, NaviTour and Explore New England.
Additional information and registration for the Summit can be found at moesummit.com.
About Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation
Maine’s Office of Outdoor Recreation (MOOR) was permanently established in 2019, to leverage Maine’s assets and outdoor recreation heritage to grow the outdoor recreation economy and build Maine’s outdoor recreation brand as part of a coordinated effort with partners from the public and private sectors. Learn more at www.maine.gov/decd/programs/maine-office-of-outdoor-recreation. Maine is a member of the Confluence of States, a coalition of eight states working to strengthen the outdoor recreation industry.
About Maine Outdoor Brands
Maine Outdoor Brands continues to work to unite, grow, and give a voice to the state’s outdoor recreation industry, supporting knowledge sharing, collaborative marketing, and commerce efforts and access to professional resources. MOB is committed to seeing Maine-based products, services, and retail brands thrive, and today has over 150 member brands that are a part of the mission.