Outside Business Journal

Colorado Has a New OREC Director

Conor Hall will aim for sustainable economic growth and conservation of public land when he takes over the position in February

Bella Wilkes

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

On January 17, Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) named Conor Hall the new director of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC). Hall will assume the post on February 22.

In a press release announcing his appointment, Hall pledged that he’ll use his new position to “support, attract, and expand [Colorado’s] outdoor recreation industry to promote sustainable economic growth and expand equitable access while prioritizing our shared goals of clean air, clean water, and the protection of public lands.” 

Hall comes to the job from The Trust for Public Lands, where he served as the director of conservation strategies, policy, advocacy, and government relations for the Intermountain West region. In his time at the nonprofit, the region saw a $2 billion increase in public funding for conservation and equitable access. Hall also worked on Michael Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign as a senior advisor on climate and conservation, and has served as senior advisor to former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. 

Growing up in Colorado, Hall developed a love for the outdoors during summers on a cattle ranch. Today, he is an avid snowboarder, mountain biker, hiker, rock climber, paddleboarder, and kayaker.

Hall’s position at Colorado’s OREC office will involve oversight of a critical component of Colorado’s economy. In 2020, the outdoor industry in the Centennial State accounted for $9.6 billion in consumer spending and supported 120,000 jobs. One of Halls’ main tasks in the next few years will be to deploy the $9.7 million EDA grant that the office has received to aid in pandemic recovery. The office will also be concerned with Outdoor Retailer’s contract expiration and implement new programming.

Hall will replace predecessor Nathan Fey, who will transition to a role with the Mighty Arrow Family Foundation as director of land and water programs.