2022 Stewards of Opportunity Conference Track:

Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Tourism

About the Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Tourism Track

This track will ensure that outdoor recreation destinations continue to drive their local economies, by activating people to recreate responsibly and care for our lands and waters; channeling visitors to underutilized locations; improving infrastructure and accessibility; and increasing visitor spending. Growing outdoor tourism responsibly requires inclusive planning and collaboration that engages both public and private sectors to identify critical issues and advance a holistic agenda improving residents’ quality of life, protecting natural and cultural heritage, and enhancing the visitor experience and connection with the community.

Topics for this Track Include:

Speakers for this Track Include:

  • Scott Bricker, Interim Vice President of Destination Development, Travel Oregon
  • Bobby Chappell, Tourism Impact Services
  • Clark Lovelace, Executive Director at Transylvania Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Development Authority
  • Dr. Melissa Weddell, Chair, Appalachian State Department of Recreation Management 
  • Dr. Ryan Sharp, Associate Professor, Applied Park Science Lab, Kansas State University
  • Nick Breedlove, Executive Director, Jackson County Tourist Development Association
  • Faith Overall, Community Engagement Manager, Leave No Trace Center For Outdoor Ethics
  • Earl B. Hunter Jr., Founder & President, Black Folks Camp Too
  • Michelle Mitchell, USFS Southeast Director for Wilderness
  • Dr. Aby Sene-Harper, Assistant Professor, Parks and Conservation Area Management, Clemson University

early bird tickets end feb. 28th!

conference schedule

To simplify the schedule to your preferred program track, please see the “Filter By Track” color-coded list on the right-hand side, and check the box of your preferred track. If all boxes are checked, you can uncheck them to narrow down your view.


The past year has been life changing, not just for us as individuals, but for our communities, economies, and the outdoor industry as a whole. The need to grow and strengthen our respective outdoor economies is more relevant than ever. 

Since its inception, Outdoor Economy Conference has provided an invaluable opportunity to connect with, learn from, and be inspired by the leaders and doers who are working to grow the outdoor industry and craft an economy that’s intimately tied to the well-being of their places and communities.

This year’s conference is no exception. Our team is passionate about their work and has been busy crafting an amazing program centered around place driven community and economic development.

Did we mention that the conference is in the legendary outdoor playground that is Western North Carolina? You’ll be just 5 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 5 minutes from some of the country’s most epic mountain biking, and within walking distance of fantastic fly fishing.

Maybe you’re more of a luxe digs sort of person – well, we’ve got that too. The Outdoor Economy Conference will be one of the first events at the swanky, newly-constructed, Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. And the room rates are crazy good. Oh, and it’s also during those magical first few weeks of spring, when the trillium and the trout are rising. So what are you waiting for? Register now! 

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4th Annual Conference Tracks: "Stewards of Opportunity"




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harrah's cherokee conference center

777 Casino Dr. Cherokee, NC 28719

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