Thank you!
4th Annual OUTDOOR ECONOMY CONFERENCE: "Stewards of Opportunity"

Working Together to Ensure a Vibrant Future for the Outdoor Economy and Our Outdoor Communities

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Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who made our 4th Annual Outdoor Economy Conference an incredible event! With over 600 in attendance, it was the largest Economic Development gathering in North Carolina, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your support. The level of enthusiasm was igniting and the connections made truly inspiring. We look forward to that momentum continuing to build a bright and beautiful future of outdoor recreation in North Carolina, the Southeast Region, the United States and worldwide. 

Be sure to fill out your Attendee Experience Survey, and save the date for the 5th Annual Outdoor Economy Conference, September 18-21, 2023 in Cherokee!

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For Conference attendees, all session recordings and speaker slides are coming to WHOVA soon! Be on the lookout in this month for announcements as we release content from plenary programming and breakout tracks.

Miss the fun? No worries! If you couldn’t join us in person, online-recording only passes will be available for purchase.

2022 Photo Gallery

Photos by Steven Reinhold — The Appalachian Adventure Company & Joanna Brown — MADE X MTNS

Stewards of Opportunity Conference Tracks:

Photo: Bren Photography for Camp Grier

Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Tourism

Explore this Track

Outdoor-Driven Economic Development

Explore this Track
Photo: Bear Allison for Cherokee

Balancing Conservation and the Outdoor Economy

Explore this Track
Photo: Industry Nine

Responsible Outdoor Product Innovation

Explore this Track


We’re excited to hear from some of the most prominent movers and shakers in the outdoor industry. Check out some of these all-stars below.

James Melonas
North Carolina Forest Supervisor, USFS

Dr. Aby Sène-Harper
Assistant Professor, Clemson University

D. Reid Wilson
Secretary, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Earl B. Hunter Jr
Founder & President, Black Folks Camp Too

Amy Allison
Director, NC Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Scott Bricker
Interim Vice President, Travel Oregon

Dr. Melissa Weddell
Chair, Appalachian State Department of Recreation Management 

Dr. Ryan L. Sharp
Associate Professor, Applied Park Science Lab, Kansas State University

Erin McCombs
Southeast Director, American Rivers

Steven Foy
Director of Outpost Operations, Nantahala Outdoor Center

Megan Lawson, Ph.D.
Economist, Headwaters Economics

We can't do this without our sponsors

This event is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors, who recognize the value that the outdoors brings to our communities and our companies. Our 4th Annual Conference sponsors include…

what makes this event great

Our attendees regularly rate the Outdoor Economy Conference as one of the best events of the year, noting our top-notch production, engaging speakers and topics, and the awesome community of people they’ve connected with. Here’s just a few testimonials…

venue and rooming info

harrah's cherokee conference center

777 Casino Dr. Cherokee, NC 28719

Lodging info

ticket info

2023 Tickets Available Soon!

2023 Early Bird tickets will be available soon. Connect with and exchange ideas with outdoor industry and thought leaders from around the world.

This event sold out in person in 2022 – sign up for the newsletter below to make sure you get first dibs on all the key conference info!