Cashing in on the Outdoors

Outdoor gear companies like Simms, Mystery Ranch, Sitka, Oboz, and Spark R&D already call Bozeman home. But should Bozeman become a hub of outdoor industry? A group of local business leaders think so, and recently formed the Montana Outdoor Alliance to create opportunities for existing Montana outdoor companies, while encouraging other companies to move here.

The unofficial organization met in January to discuss the future of outdoor commerce in southwest Montana. Led by Bozeman Economic Development Director Brit Fontenot, around 36 local business representatives identified challenges for growing Bozeman’s outdoor industry: cost of living, workforce training, transportation, and freight limitations. They also discussed what role the newly minted alliance might play in attracting new business.

Time will tell whether the Montana Outdoor Alliance grows or fizzles, but one thing is clear: Bozeman’s position in the outdoor industry has never been stronger.