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GPI heads to Denver for the Outdoor Retailer conference

July 23,2018 | By Anna Marum

Greater Portland Inc, along with Prosper Portland, is once again headed to the Outdoor Retailer conference this summer. This year, the conference is in Denver for the first time since its big move from Salt Lake City, and GPI will be there July 22-25.

As one of our region’s most important sectors, the athletic and outdoor industry encompasses more than 600 firms that employ more than 20,000 people in Greater Portland.

Over 100 Oregon companies, including heavy-hitters Columbia Sportswear, Nike Trail Running and Keen Footwear, are attending the Denver conference. GPI will be connecting with the firms that are driving our region’s success in this sector, and meeting with other companies about the abundant possibilities Greater Portland offers to those looking to expand.

Our region has a long track record of fostering athletic and outdoor companies. Nike and Columbia Sportswear headquarter operations in Greater Portland have spurred a robust ecosystem across six subclusters:
  • Apparel (Columbia Sportswear, Under Armour, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Merrell, Icebreaker)
  • Cycling (Rapha, Nutcase Helmets, Showers Pass)
  • Accessories and bags (Tanner Goods, Orox Leather, Make It Good, Looptworks)
  • Creative services (Wieden+Kennedy, Ziba Design, Outdoor Project, Swift)
  • Gear (Leatherman, Benchmade, Gerber, Nautilus, Yakima, Leupold & Stevens, Snow Peak USA)
  • Footwear (Nike, Adidas, Keen, Mizuno, Danner, Dr. Martens, Bogs)
Often described as a “living laboratory,” Greater Portland’s proximity to the ocean, mountains, desert –as well as its abundance of nearby rivers, lakes and forests – make it easy to test new products in the elements and connect with customers.

“Our region is home to one of the largest creative centers for athletic and outdoor in the world,” said Janet LaBar, president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc. “That depth and breadth of experience and innovation translate to an unmatched talent pool. These people have helped establish a network of resources for companies and entrepreneurs, including the Portland Incubator Experiment, Pensole Footwear Design Academy and targeted sports product management programs at Portland State University and the University of Oregon.”

Learn more about our athletic and outdoor industry, as well as the region's five other leading sectors, here.

Photo courtesy of Visit Denver

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