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How Winter Outdoor Recreation Aids Economic Development

Aaron Hautala talks winter fat biking and economic growth on the Trail Eaffect podcast

The January 5 episode of the Trail Eaffect, a podcast devoted to telling the stories of trails, trail communities, and the leaders who make it happen, featured Strateligent and Cuyuna Adventure Town USA CEO Aaron Hautala.

In this bonus episode, Aaron talks about his role advocating for developing winter outdoor recreation as a way of boosting economic development in the Cuyuna region. Aaron knew that for businesses to invest in the region, economic opportunity couldn’t be seasonal, relying on a few months of summer mountain bicycling and mine lake paddling alone. For businesses to opt-in, move in, and commit to developing Cuyuna, there had to be a minimum of nine to ten months of profitability. The evolution of winter recreation in Cuyuna—fat biking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing—provided businesses with ROI nearly all year long and has turned a summer mountain bicycling mecca into a winter fat bike destination with serious downhill ski-town vibes. Give the podcast a list for the full story, (To get right into it, skip ahead to the 2:30 mark).

Listen now.

To learn more about how we can help your community develop economic development through outdoor recreation, contact us.