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Farmington to host statewide outdoor industry event

Conference will focus on how to grow outdoor economy
Jeff Steinborn, right, executive director of Outdoor New Mexico, announced Feb. 3 that Farmington will host the third annual New Mexico Outdoor Economics Conference in October 2020. Also pictured: San Juan County Commissioner Jack Fortner, Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett and Axie Navas, director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Division.

FARMINGTON – Farmington will host state, regional and national outdoor industry experts in October for the third annual New Mexico Outdoor Economics Conference, the city announced Monday.

The announcement comes as the city of Farmington and San Juan County continue to push for an expanding outdoor recreation industry throughout the Four Corners.

Outdoor New Mexico Executive Director Jeff Steinborn announced the conference’s location Monday at the Farmington Museum. He was joined by Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett, San Juan County Commission Chairman Jack Fortner, Aztec Mayor Victor Snover and San Juan College Executive Vice President Edward M. DesPlas.

The conference is run through New Mexico’s Department of Economic Development’s Outdoor Recreation division and Outdoor New Mexico to facilitate discussion and development for the state with outdoor industry leaders, government representatives and nonprofit groups. The previous year’s event drew about 300 people, according to the conference announcement.

After attending last year’s conference in Silver City, Duckett said he was determined for Farmington to host this year’s event. It seemed to be an opportunity to bring outsiders, who might not know about the region’s potential for the outdoor recreation industry, into Farmington and San Juan County.

“This is a state-backed conference that’s bringing people from all over the United States,” Duckett said during Monday’s announcement.

According to Steinborn’s remarks, before the Silver City conference had even wrapped, he had “an email in my mailbox from your tenacious Mayor Nate Duckett saying, ‘We want to be the host of the third conference.’”

During his speech, the mayor also highlighted the work the city has already done to promote the outdoor industry throughout the region.

While focused on developing the outdoor recreation industry in New Mexico, panelists from previous years included representatives of the National Parks Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation and the Outdoor Industry Association based in Colorado.

Although panelists have not been announced yet, organizers said topics this year will include outdoor recreation business development, outdoor equity, diversity and sustainability.

The conference will be held Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 at the Farmington Civic Center. The registration fee is $65.


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