SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new non-profit hopes to get you outside and give a boost to the state’s outdoor recreation businesses. As New Mexico’s businesses begin to reopen and recover from the pandemic, the non-profit wants to shine a light on the state’s outdoor recreation industry.
“Outdoor recreation is a big deal in New Mexico but unlike the film industry and the tourism industry and even the wine industry, there’s never really been a unified voice to bring everyone together so it’s been very exciting to start pulling everybody together to be part of this alliance,” said James Glover, co-director of EndeavOR New Mexico. “It’s everything from non-profits that are trying to preserve and conserve stewardship the lands, and businesses, many businesses who are just small mom-and-pops, whether they’re a guiding company or a fishing company or manufacturing mountain bikes.”
The New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Business Alliance, or EndeavOR New Mexico, for short, wants to help everyone from hiking guides and kayak rental shops to bringing in manufacturers for things like mountain bikes and fishing equipment. This can be through advertising, boosting sales, or even learning how to change business plans.
“Businesses right now are really suffering. You would think the outdoor recreation industry is very resilient but the reality is they suffer along with every kind of business that there is,” said Glover. “We’ve been trying to figure out ways to help them get back on track to be more successful post-COVID, but what’s really exciting is we’ve been talking to our outdoor recreation members, they’re changing and they’re adapting. Maybe they led expeditions before on paddleboards, but now they’re just renting more paddleboards, so they’re figuring out ways to be successful to despite the times.”
The state’s Outdoor Recreation Division, part of the Economic Development Department, is also partnering up with the non-profit. They hope to help conserve New Mexico’s public spaces while helping boost the economy.
“You just look outside most of our windows and see this incredible landscape with open skies and incredible culture. It’s a rich, rich state,” said Axie Navas, director of the Outdoor Recreation Division. “As we see those increases in numbers, it has to be paired with investment in these places, protecting the public lands and waters that are a huge access point to so many people who enjoy the outdoors.”
EndeavOR says another goal is to invest in getting New Mexico’s kids involved in outdoor recreation early on. For some, this could introduce a future career.
“It’s a big goal of ours to get the kids outdoors which is important,” said Glover. “Then let them see a career path so they can consider becoming some business or individual in the outdoor recreation industry in the future.”
The state’s Outdoor Recreation Division also just passed its first Outdoor Equity Fund. It will grant money to programs around the state — from municipalities to counties and non-profits — to get more kids outdoors.