Outdoor City USA, a new event that promotes inclusivity in the outdoors while more closely connecting outdoor enthusiasts with the brands they love, is putting its roots down in Bend, Ore., as it premieres a three-day multi-sport festival September 13-15 at the iconic Mt. Bachelor Resort. The event will include cycling, running, hiking, climbing, and how-to demonstrations for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and levels. The family friendly festival, complete with music, food, beverages, and a Saturday party during the Elite Twilight Cyclocross races.
Founded by Beverly Lucas, a bicycle industry veteran, business woman, Bend resident, and mother, the idea for OCUSA came about, she said, after attending countless industry tradeshows and consumer events with her kids where one family member participated while others stood around watching.
“Anyone who has ever been to a bicycle or outdoor industry tradeshow, or to any consumer outdoor festival, knows that these events, while useful, are in need of new energy that better reflects the very nature of the industry,” said Lucas. “A handful of successful shows and events come to mind, and Outdoor City USA was developed by taking the very best of each of them and wrapping it up into a three-day festival that brings the industry and consumers together in celebration of the outdoors like never before.”
With support from key drivers including Travel Oregon, Mt. Bachelor, Visit Bend, Visit Central Oregon, Oregon Outdoor Alliance, Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation, Redmond Chamber of Commerce, Redmond Municipal Airport, and Economic Development for Central Oregon, it is anticipated that upwards of 10,000 media, industry professionals, and outdoors enthusiasts of all ages, abilities, and disciplines will descend upon Central Oregon and Mt. Bachelor for the three-day festival and all that Bend has to offer.
What makes Outdoor City USA unique is a broad range of activities from four core disciplines — cycling, running, hiking, and climbing — that appeal to participants of all ages and skill levels. In what Lucas calls the festival’s experiential approach, opportunities exist for every attendee to get involved in some form of sport. The scope includes everything from bike and running races to ‘try-it’ events to hands-on skills clinics to group rides, runs, hikes, and wall climbs — all supported by an outdoor industry expo showcasing and selling their wares.
“We as an industry want and need to get closer to our customers, to engage them, and to understand how they engage with, experience, and share our products,” Lucas said. “Trade-only shows are no longer an effective way to grow our industry segments. What Outdoor City USA aims to do is bring key sporting activities together in one place and become the benchmark for what’s possible in an outdoor festival. I can think of no better place to do this than the outdoor-centric communities of Bend and Central Oregon.”
When festival-goers have exhausted their energy stores on some of the country’s most spectacular roads, trails, and climbs, they can cool off in one of the regions many lakes or rivers, or recharge in town with the craft beer and culinary scene that have become hallmarks of the region. Central Oregon’s Bend Radio Group will be mixing music and broadcasting live on the mountain, and locally crafted 10 Barrel Brewing Co. will have beer on tap to quench the over-21 thirst. The festival centerpiece is a Saturday evening party held in conjunction with the elite twilight Cross Cascades cyclocross race, with locally brewed beer, fine eats, and plenty of beats.
Registration for all events opens on Friday, Aug. 2 on the Outdoor City USA website. For more information about Outdoor City USA, for travel and lodging info, or to register for the festival’s events visit www.outdoorcityusa.com.
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