Luis Benitez Head shot

Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Economy has a brand-new leader in Luis Benitez – what does this mean for your business?

Luis Benitez stepped into his new role as Director for the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry on July 1, 2015. This is a brand-new office and position that’s part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).

Here’s what Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper had to say about his appointment of Benitez:

“Luis has the knowledge and experience with Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry to become a successful convener and collaborator with all industry participants throughout the state. His passion for the outdoors is contagious, and he combines this with a business savvy that will ensure we continue to elevate Colorado’s business brand and the continued prominence of our Outdoor Recreation Industry.”

Hickenlooper truly did install one of us into this pivotal new role. Benitez has a lengthy resume that includes multiple successful summits of the world’s highest peaks. He’s a die-hard outdoorsman who loves to be at altitude, on the water, or on the trail and who is equally comfortable going light and fast as he is hunting fowl. He also has served as a town councilor in the small mountain town of Eagle, Colo., worked for many years for Colorado’s Outward Bound and served as a consultant bridging key attributes of being successful in the wilderness as part of a team into Fortune 200 and 500 companies seeking help with team alignment and best practices. Benitez is a rare breed indeed.

Our new outdoor recreation economy leader in Denver, Colo. wasted no time getting started. … He hit the road immediately holding listening sessions around the state (we all love a good road trip, don’t we?). What he’s shepherding is nothing short of critical for innovators, founders and businesses that call Colorado’s active outdoor lifestyle industries home. To be clear, those industries include: outdoor; hunting and fishing; snowsports; bike; and motorized recreation. Together, he says (and I wholeheartedly agree) we can be so much more powerful in terms of creating growth and opportunities for our businesses. What’s more, the mere fact that Governor Hickenlooper appointed Benitez to this office points to our state leaderships’ awareness of the force we have on the economy as members of the outdoor recreational industries.  According to the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor industries contribute $4.2 billion in wages and salaries in Colorado.

With the recognition of the State of Colorado and the State of Utah in creating positions of leadership to build and further our nation’s Outdoor Recreation Economy, we’ll soon be more visible on the national level. Join the movement by becoming aware of all that goes into serving the businesses that comprise Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy – start by listening to this episode of The Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast!

Follow Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast by joining our community on Twitter + Instagram (@GoLivingUber) and on Facebook. Also be sure to join my weekly newsletter, which gives you access to members-only podcasts and content built just for motivated, adventurous entrepreneurs! Don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe to the Intrepid Entrepreneur Podcast, and share it with a peer who you know will be inspired!


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Habit for Success?

Bringing his passion for being outdoors to his job, every day.


“Success truly is about bringing the passion of who you are with the day-to-day of what you do.”

Pivot Moment:

Luis was part of an incident in 2006 on Cho Oyu that involved human rights. The incident served as a way to understand the power of the Outdoor Industry to do what’s right in situations both like that and also in the context of education and conservation/stewardship.

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