The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) will hold its annual leadership and learning conference, Rendezvous, at the Vancouver-Hilton, in Vancouver, Washington on October 3 to 5, 2007. The event draws hundreds of high level outdoor industry professionals to one location for seminars, speakers, and active outdoor recreation excursions that promote the growth and success of the outdoor industry. This year, OIA selected Vancouver for the conference because of its connectedness and commitment to outdoor recreation, and the community’s focus on an environmental and sustainability ethic.

“Vancouver is a community that clearly supports outdoor recreation; the driving force behind the success and growth of the outdoor industry,” remarked Frank Hugelmeyer, President of OIA.  “The location provides a reflection of the lessons in learning and professional development that occur at the Rendezvous.”

Furthermore, the outdoor industry has a strong presence in the Pacific with product manufacturers, specialty outdoor retailers, and other industry services and businesses. A recent report by Outdoor Industry Foundation cited the $730 billion economic contribution of active outdoor recreation to the US economy.  In the Pacific NW* region, outdoor recreation jobs, gear retail sales, trip-related sales and taxes (federal, state) amount to an astounding $81 billion to the regional economy each year.  Vancouver’s commitment to keep outdoor recreation a priority in planning, development, and preservation has not gone unnoticed by the outdoor industry.

Rendezvous Service Project

With the help of Timberland and Washington Trails Association, the 2007 Volunteer Service Project promises to continue our tradition of service by leaving the southwest Washington recreation areas in better shape than when we first arrive. Washington Trails Association, Vancouver-Clark County Parks, and Outdoor Industry Association have identified the Dubois Park and Blandford Canyon Trail, located four miles from the Vancouver Hilton as the site of this year's service project. The trailhead itself begins in Dubois Park, a residential area that provides close-to-home recreation opportunities for families and residents of all ages.

On Friday, October 5, 2007 from 1 pm to 5 pm, Rendezvous attendees will tackle the following projects: creating trailhead and path to existing trail, new sign installation, trail brush clearing, leveling and edging, and potential playground surface rehab. The park encompasses 3.5 acres and Blandford Canyon trail is approximately .5 miles long.