Michigan Outdoor Summit returns this weekTraverse City again hosts annual event to bolster Michigan's outdoor economy

Traverse City is known for its beautiful beaches and dunes, picturesque vineyards, and tasty cherries. Much of its focus centers around the great outdoors, and the latest event, Michigan Outdoors Summit, will highlight just that. Last year, the inaugural event sold out, and this year it returns Sept. 26-27 at Hotel Indigo in downtown Traverse City.

What's happening:  The event brings together entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovators, nature lovers, and successful thriving outdoor businesses under one roof. They’re invited to guest lectures, outdoor adventures, networking, breakout sessions, brunches and happy hours. Join stakeholders representing every part of the state’s outdoor community, to build understanding, and catalyze meaningful next steps to create a sustainable vibrant future.

What’s included: The hope is participants will leave the summit feeling rejuvenated, inspired and appreciative of the many outdoor assets the state offers. The event offers time indoors and outdoors, with participants actually spending time running on the Leelanau Trail, learning backcountry skills at nearby outdoor retailers, learning about inclusive outdoor infrastructure for all abilities, and more. They’ll also hear powerful stories from guest speakers from a variety of industries including non-profits, supply chains, local and state government, economic development and tourism, education and workforce development, land management and conservation, etc.

Scheduled presenters from the Michigan DNR, Land Trust Alliance, The Disability Network West Michigan, Pure Michigan Business Connect, Shophouse Park, Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak, The Outfitter of Harbor Springs are included in the agenda.

Where it’s happening: Although some events take place off-site, many speaker sessions take place at the ‘basecamp’ for the summit at Hotel Indigo in Traverse City. A block of standard, discounted rooms are available for a limited time. 

What it costs: The basic Outdoor Summit ticket costs $65, and includes all panels, networking, breakout sessions, lunch, take-home materials and swag from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. VIP tickets are $155, and include Boardman Review Superfan upgrade, and top-notch merchandise, in addition to the basic ticket package. 

Prices range per event. Tuesday’s Advanced Topics in Land Protection + Stewardship or Tuesday’s Advanced Topics in Trail Management + Stewardship is $30.  The Boardman Review Release Party is free, but there is a ‘superfan’ upgrade for $30, which includes the fall issue and swag.

Individual breakout activities include the Trail to Natural Area Run, Backcountry Skills, and Miller Creek Preserve Hike + Hike Prep, which are all $15 individually.

Who’s making it happen: The event is sponsored by AllTrails, Porous Pave, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Grand Traverse Conservation District, Outdoor Industry Association, Leelanau Conservancy, Little Traverse Conservancy, Six Rivers Land Conservancy, Huron Pines, Land Trust Alliance, Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, Moosejaw, TrailSense, Parallel Solutions, Points North, Backcountry North, Blake’s Hard Cider Co., The Boardman Review, Yerba Mate, MI Moves, Valor Skincare, and Why Bars. 

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.
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