Workshop aims to help drive outdoor recreation, tourism

Event includes tour of potential business sites

Megan Petersen
Farmington Daily Times
Driver Jessica Johnston of Winchester, Va., descends a steep slope on Sept. 10, 2016, while competing in the World Extreme Rock Grand National Championship, which is one example of the outdoor recreation opportunities that exist in the area.
  • This is the second such workshop held in Farmington in the past two years.
  • Registration for the event is open to the public and costs $15.
  • Organizers say the outdoor recreation and tourism industries are about more than guiding, and gear rental and sales.

FARMINGTON — Local business leaders want to make outdoor recreation and tourism a staple in the Four Corners economy, and a coalition of local organizations is coming together this weekend to help local entrepreneurs navigate how to establish an outdoor-oriented business in the area.

The Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city of Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department and San Juan College’s Enterprise Center are hosting an Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative Basecamp from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Quality Center for Business at the college.

The event includes a two-hour seminar by FCVB executive director Tonya Stinson and FPRCA director Cory Styron, according to Judy Castleberry, director of the Enterprise Center.

The seminar leaders will discuss “untapped” outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities in the area, and share tips and resources for establishing a business in the area, Castleberry said.

The last hour of the event will consist of a tour of relevant places where businesses might be successful, including specific buildings and general areas like Farmington Lake and along the Animas River, Castleberry said.

Shorell Dixon, front, rides in the annual Road Apple Rally at Lions Wilderness Park in Farmington on Oct. 3, 2015.

Part of the workshop is expanding what local entrepreneurs might see as a business that falls under the outdoor recreation and tourism category.

“We’re trying to get across that there’s lots of different businesses that actually touch outdoor recreation and tourism in this area,” Castleberry said.

Though people often think of services directly related to the industry — such as equipment rental shops or guide services — in regard to outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities, Castleberry said businesses that manufacture or innovate gear or equipment could be successful here, as well.

“We would be a very good area for some light manufacturing of outdoor recreation products,” Castleberry said. “If somebody’s innovative, and they’re trying out a new widget for a mountain bike, they can go five minutes out of town and be on some very, very good mountain bike trails, so we’re really trying to promote that it’s a spectrum of the kind of services and businesses that are in this arena.”

More:Durango riders dominate Road Apple Rally again

This will be the second event of its kind in Farmington. Castleberry said a similar workshop was organized two years ago that saw “good turnout, but a lot of it was just people testing the waters.”

“We felt some things have happened in the meantime — the city is working so hard to basically say, 'We’re open for business' that we felt that it was time to do this again and really concentrate on getting interested in either moving a business or starting a business in this area and in this industry.

"(We’re) just trying to spark some interest and move people forward,” Castleberry said.

Registration for the event is open to the public and costs $15, according to the registration page. Contact Castleberry at 505-566-3699 for more information.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or