News Releases

January 25, 2018

Vermont to Host 2018 National Outdoor Recreation Conference

The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP) will present the 2018 National Outdoor Recreation Conference ( on April 23-26, 2018, in Burlington, Vermont.

The National Outdoor Recreation Conference showcases innovative approaches to outdoor recreation research, planning, and management, and organizers believe that Vermont provides an ideal location to see how investments in local conservation and outdoor recreation have contributed to a thriving economy and vibrant community. The theme of this year's conference is "Building Resilient Communities, Environments and Economies."

"We are very pleased to host this exciting event in Vermont later this year," said Vermont Governor Phil Scott. "As we work to grow our economy, our outdoor recreational opportunities and natural resources are some of our top assets, which is why I've committed to growing our outdoor recreation economy. Hosting this conference will be a great opportunity to learn from leaders in this sector, and showcase all this state has to offer."

The Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) created by Governor Phil Scott in 2017 is working toward strengthening and expanding Vermont's outdoor recreation economy. The private-public VOREC steering committee is represented by state agencies, Vermont businesses and non-profits organizations including outdoor manufacturers, retailers, brand representatives, trail and user groups, conservation organizations, and state government. Its purpose is to identify and support initiatives that grow the outdoor recreation economy while increasing access and participation and improving the quality and stewardship of Vermont's recreational resources.

"As chair of the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative, I'm thrilled to welcome the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals to Vermont for this exciting event, especially given this year's conference theme," said Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder. "Here in Vermont, we believe that there are no healthy communities or healthy economies without a healthy environment, and we look forward to offering visitors a chance to experience our resilient natural settings, local outdoor culture, and world-class recreational opportunities."

Outdoor recreation accounts for approximately $2 billion in annual spending in Vermont, with most of those dollars being spent by out-of-state visitors. While the ski industry is the largest driver of outdoor recreation activity in the state, Vermont remains a year-round draw to outdoor recreation enthusiasts, appealing to people who also enjoy bicycling, hiking, camping, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, boating and a host of other outdoor recreational activities.

"Outdoor recreation is a primary catalyst for tourism in Vermont, an industry that generates $2.6 billion each year in spending," said Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Wendy Knight. "The breadth of our outdoor recreational activities, accessibility to private-public sector trail networks, waterways, mountains and state parks, and good stewardship of our natural resources not only attract 13 million visitors to Vermont each year, they also provide a compelling reason for people to live in Vermont, and for others to relocate."

Registration ( for the 2018 National Outdoor recreation conference is now open, and early bird rates are available until March 31. A full program itinerary for this year's conference can be found on the National Outdoor Recreation Conference website (

"SORP selected Burlington specifically to experience outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities as well as Vermont's commitment to outdoor recreation and the robust partnerships that benefit communities and businesses, and the stewardship of recreation settings," said Rachel Franchina, President of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals.

Media Contacts: Susan Bulmer, Vermont State Parks, (802) 476-0181,; Philip Tortora, Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing, (802) 522-7323,

Source: Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
Last Updated at: January 25, 2018 15:08:21