An artist’s rendering shows how the outdoor recreation industry park will look when complete near Golden in Jefferson County. Courtesy Neenan

Yeti Cycles, Neenan partner on Jeffco park

GOLDEN — An outdoor recreation industry park in Jefferson County may soon join two others in the state if it passes muster with development authorities in that county. And if approved, it will ride the wave of excitement circling the industry since the addition of the Outdoor Retailer trade shows that began operations in the state in January.

“I would say we have only just begun to tap the potential of the outdoor recreation industry,” said Luiz Benitez, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. The office, established by Gov. John Hickenlooper to oversee an economy that alone generates $28 billion in consumer spending annually, is, like tourism and development, part of the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Benitez, the first director of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, has been in his position for three years and thinks that the growth of outdoor recreation parks in the state is further evidence of Colorado’s strong outdoor-sports enthusiasm. 

There are currently two such parks in Colorado: The Riverfront at Las Colonias in Grand Junction anchored by Bonsai Designs, and Colorado Outdoors in Montrose anchored by Mayfly Outdoors. There will be a third, anchored by Yeti Cycles LLC, a Golden-based company, if re-zoning approval is obtained from Jefferson County. The property needs to be rezoned from A-2 (single-family residential and agricultural) to PD (Planned Development).

Yeti wants to purchase a 25-acre parcel in unincorporated Jefferson County at 5399 Colorado Highway 93, on the west side of Highway 93 north of downtown Golden.  Already based in Golden, the company will use nine acres for its new headquarters and has partnered with Fort Collins-based developer and design-build firm Neenan Archistruction to build out the remaining 16 acres.  Additional tenants have not been named because re-zoning approval is pending.

The conceptual plans for the space if it is re-zoned, said Marissa Hoffman, director of client services for Dovetails Solutions, which represents Neenan, “will accommodate office, showroom, light-industrial, retail and restaurant space.  The project team does see a brewery as a critical partner for the campus.”

Neenan emphasizes its involvement with the projects it develops and points with pride to its “championship” designation for the Fort Collins’ Bike-to-Work competition (98 percent employee participation) following its development of that city’s ClimateWise program.  Eleven of its staff members are certified LEED (Leadership in Environment and Energy Design) designees. 

Yeti, one of the first biking brands to adopt full suspension bikes, was also one of the first biking companies to form its own professional mountain-biking race team.  In 2016, Inc.com reported that Yeti Cycles had shown a 45 percent growth rate over the previous three years.

Yeti looks forward to expanding its scope and, said president Chris Conroy, “We’re excited by the prospect of creating an outdoor industry ecosystem through this campus development.”

However, all parties connected with the proposed park (Yeti, Jefferson County’s Planning and Zoning Department, and the Colorado Department of Transportation, which is involved because new highways that will be need) have been tight-lipped and did not reply to repeated requests for information.  Yeti Marketing Manager Janette Sherman said only, “We are actually still waiting on final zoning so everything is fairly preemptive at this point.”

People who will be impacted if the area is re-zoned are not nearly so reticent.  As of the middle of September all letters received by the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Department regarding the requested re-zoning were unsupportive of the idea.  The main concerns are traffic, safety, and the “Gouldering” of Golden, said many residents. 

“An outdoor lifestyle campus of this scale highlights the impact that the outdoor industry has in Colorado,” said Kristi Pollard, president and CEO of Jefferson County Economic Development Corp. “With the market poised for continued growth. We’re proud to see this drive for collaboration and support among outdoor brands, for the betterment of the Jefferson County business community.”

“Colorado’s recreation economy grew significantly over the past five years,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association, in a letter to members.  “The outdoor recreation economy in Colorado generates $28 billion in consumer spending and supports 229,000 jobs. We look forward to partnering with policymakers in Colorado around new and innovative ideas to further boost outdoor recreation as a part of the nation’s economy.”

GOLDEN — An outdoor recreation industry park in Jefferson County may soon join two others in the state if it passes muster with development authorities in that county. And if approved, it will ride the wave of excitement circling the industry since the addition of the Outdoor Retailer trade shows that began operations in the state in January.

“I would say we have only just begun to tap the potential of the outdoor recreation industry,” said Luiz Benitez, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. The office, established by Gov. John Hickenlooper to oversee an economy that alone generates $28 billion in consumer spending annually, is, like tourism and development, part of the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Benitez, the first director of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, has been in his position for three years and thinks that the growth of outdoor recreation parks in the state is further evidence of Colorado’s strong outdoor-sports enthusiasm. 

There are currently two such parks in Colorado: The Riverfront at Las Colonias in Grand Junction anchored by Bonsai Designs, and Colorado Outdoors in Montrose anchored by Mayfly Outdoors. There will be a third, anchored by Yeti Cycles LLC, a Golden-based company, if re-zoning approval is obtained from Jefferson County. The property needs to be rezoned from A-2 (single-family residential and agricultural) to PD (Planned Development).

Yeti wants to…