These stories were sponsored by Colorado Outdoors as part of a series of features examining economic trends in the outdoor industry in 2020 and 2021.
In pursuit of a more rewarding lifestyle, the workforce is increasingly spreading out to rural areas. Many outdoor manufacturers are following suit and trading the big cities for the great wide open.
As outdoor brands look to reshore production, they're finding mountain towns and rural communities are not only great places to test gear, they can also support tech-fueled manufacturing operations.
A holy grail for economic developers and the subject of academic research for more than a century, manufacturing clusters drive the global economy. On the Western Slope of Colorado, there's an opportunity to foster a cluster around the manufacturing of outdoor gear.
Colorado Outdoors is transforming an overlooked stretch along the Uncompahgre River in Montrose into a mixed-use manufacturing hub. Makers of everything from fishing gear to tents will feel right at home.