Recreation & Tourism


Outdoor Recreation 


Outdoor recreation is a big deal when it comes to the overall economy of Colorado. The numbers speak for themselves. 7,800 outdoor recreation firms call the state home, which employ 177,700 employees, and generate $6 billion in revenue. This is because 90% of Coloradans participate in outdoor recreation activities, and the state is number one in the nation in overnight ski visits, and number 8 in overnight outdoor visits. Trinidad-Las Animas County seeks to capitalize on these trends and help the state continue to grow as an outdoor recreation industry destination to do business.

Along with southern Colorado’s great climate, there’s the proximity of I-25 to take advantage of when considering where to relocate or start up an outdoor recreation business. Based on Colorado Department of Transportation statistics, there are 15,000 cars traveling through the county on average per day, which is approximately 5.5 million per year. Trinidad is the second busiest port of entry in Colorado. The area is the first and last stop of visitors making their way into Colorado for a host of outdoor recreational activities.

Not only does Trinidad-Las Animas County have a tourist base to build around, the area is expanding its open space and business environment to attract outdoor recreation industry players. In July of 2017, Trinidad was one of two communities accepted into the Blueprint 2.0 Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry initiative. Along with state resources, the Trinidad Industrial Park and La Puerta development are building suitable sites for businesses interested in relocating or starting up in southern Colorado. Trinidad-Las Animas County is a great place for outdoor recreation firms to consider as a live, work, and play destination.

Outdoor Recreation Industry Opportunities

  • Camping (RV, Tent, Rustic Lodging)
  • Fishing (Fly, Non-Fly)
  • Hunting (Shotgun, Rifle, Bow)
  • Motorcycling (On-Road, Off-Road)
  • Off Roading (ATV, 4x4 and Jeep)
  • Snowsports (Cross-Country, Nordic Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backcountry Skiing/Snowboarding)
  • Trail Sports (Day Hiking, Backpacking, Horseback Riding, Mountaineering)
  • Water Sports (Kayaking, Rafting, Canoeing, Sailing, Stand Up Paddling, Boating: Wakeboarding, Tubing, Kneeboarding, Waterskiing)
  • Wheel Sports (Bicycling off-road: Mountain Bike, Gravel Adventure)
  • Wildlife Viewing

Distance to Ski Areas


  • Cuchara Mountain Park: 65 miles 1 hr 15 min
  • Monarch Ski Area: 168 miles 3 hrs
  • Silverton Mountain Resort 307 miles 5 hrs 45 min
  • Wolf Creek Ski Area: 175 miles 3 hrs

New Mexico

  • Angel Fire Ski Resort: 98 miles 1 hr 50 min
  • Red River Ski Resort: 104 miles 2 hrs  
  • Sipapu Ski Resort: 159 miles 2 hrs 45 min
  • Taos Ski Valley: 136 miles 2 hrs 50 min

Events & Sports Tourism


An industry opportunity in Trinidad-Las Animas County are events, and travel associated with sports or physical activities. Sport vacations can take many forms including: sport camps, sport conferences, sport races, sport tours, attendance at hallmark events, and participation in “club” sport events. Sport tourism is broadly defined as “travel to participate in a sport activity, travel to observe sport, and travel to visit a sport attraction”. An example of the growth in endurance sport events business is sponsorship spend, which according to the US-based IEG Sponsorship, reached $118.8 million in 2015 - an increase of 4.6 per cent from 2015.

Some of the contributing factors to the growth of sport tourism include: expansion in the number of participants in a variety of professional, intramural, and leisure sport leagues; the increased general popularity of sports; an increase of travelers who plan vacations around sport events; and the exponential growth of popularity in “active lifestyles”. Sport tourists differ from other types of tourists in terms of their motives for visiting a destination and the sport-related activities they engage in during their visit.

Trinidad-Las Animas County has the ingredients necessary to create a destination image that is favorable to outdoor sport tourist segments. We believe the southern Colorado region is a desirable location that sport tourists will want to visit. Event planners and promoters who understand the areas outdoor attributes can help attract and grow the sports tourism market. By promoting existing events it will encourage more events to be hosted in Trinidad-Las Animas County, which in turn will draw more sport tourists to the area.