Last month, we were among the many business owners who exhibited at Colorado's second Outdoor Retailer show. We created Denver-based Fourpoints Bars to fuel ourselves and other outdoor recreationists with a healthier real food energy bar.
Like with our state's first Outdoor Retailer show this winter, we again welcomed vendors and outdoor professionals from around the world who were here to promote their new cutting-edge gear. We think one of the key takeaways was how important Colorado's outdoor economy is to our local businesses, communities, and our elected officials.
Colorado has been a national leader in managing and protecting our great outdoors. From defending our national monuments to having a holiday devoted solely to our public lands, we are proud to live in a state that leads the nation in conservation. This is why we are urging Sen. Cory Gardner to join Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Jared Polis in supporting the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act.
This legislation would preserve new wilderness areas, conserve wildlife habitat and corridors, and promote and protect access for people's favorite places to ski, bike and more.
It would also designate Camp Hale, the birthplace of Colorado's ski industry, as the country's first National Historic Landscape. Here, the celebrated World War II 10th Mountain Division trained for winter combat, and ultimately went on to help bring the Allies a victory.
For decades, a broad and diverse group of stakeholders, including small business owners, mountain bikers, hunters, veterans, and thousands of others, have been working to preserve this slice of the White River National Forest. These lands draw people from near and far and communities and businesses like mine depend on and thrive thanks to these wonders.
Outdoor recreation is big business in Colorado. It generates $28 billion in consumer spending, supports 229,000 jobs, and pays $9.7 billion in direct wages and salaries. Additionally, some 13 million people a year visit the White River National Forest and spend their dollars in the surrounding communities. In fact, in May, 96 businesses signed-on to a letter urging Gardner to support the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act. That list continues to grow with more businesses urging Gardner to preserve our great outdoors.
We want to thank Sen. Gardner for welcoming the Outdoor Retailer Show to Colorado, and urge him to support the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act. We need more places to hike, bike, camp, ski, hunt, fish, paddle and simply enjoy the great outdoors, not fewer.
Patrick and Kevin Webber are co-founders of Fourpoints Bars in Denver.