Colorado Outdoor Businesses Support their Communities Through COVID-19

  • Person sewing a mask on a sewing machine

Colorado Outdoor Business Alliance member, Seek Outside, has shifted their focus to produce masks for healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses that rely on Colorado’s open spaces and waterways for their bottom lines know how important it is to protect our state’s resources. Through the Colorado Outdoor Business Alliance (COBA) program, large and small companies in our state come together to advocate for the land, air, water and communities we hold dear. 

But outdoor businesses that work to support conservation efforts also are stepping up and adapting to new challenges in the face of COVID-19, from manufacturing personal protective equipment to donating directly to relief efforts. These businesses supported their communities before the coronavirus pandemic, and continue to show up to address new challenges. 

We applaud the ongoing efforts of COBA members to support their communities in this moment and are proud to recognize their response to coronavirus. If you’re able, we encourage you to give them your support. Here’s how COBA members are rising to the challenges posed by COVID-19: 

Businesses with the capacity to make personal protective equipment have shifted their focus to manufacture critical supplies.

Person sewing a gown for Alpacka Raft

Sheri Tingey sewing a gown for Alpacka Rafts 

Alpacka Raft, the 20-year-old packraft manufacturer, has recently switched over to making hospital gowns. In partnership with the MakerLab in Durango, CO, as well as several other well-known, local companies, they have started manufacturing thousands of gowns from more than 4,000 yards of material. With their automated cutting machine and team of industrial production sewers, Alpacka Raft is able to produce larger quantities of gowns for local community hospitals.

Point6 founders, Peter and Patty Duke

Point6, a small business dedicated to making high quality merino wool socks and base layers, produced and donated 500 masks to the Steamboat Springs United Way to be distributed locally. Point6 is also donating $1 per item sold to local COVID-19 relief funds.

Seek Outside sewing masks for healthcare workers

Seek Outside, a backcountry equipment supply company in Grand Junction, is teaming up with ProSafe Professional Linens to help aid in the production of ICU approved medical masks! Seek Outside aims to produce several hundred masks a day for healthcare workers. 

Wet Dreams River Supply shifted their focus to make gowns for healthcare workers

Wet Dreams River Supply makes river-running gear out of their home base in Flagstaff, Arizona, and they just opened a new store in Grand Junction. They’ve adapted to the challenges of COVID-19 by shifting their focus to making gowns for healthcare workers.

Zeal Optics team members after completing trail work with Boulder County Parks & Open Space

Zeal Optics team members after completing trail work with Boulder County Parks & Open Space

Zeal Optics, based in Boulder, Colorado, creates plant-based sunglasses from renewable resources, eliminating their use of fossil fuels. At this moment, Zeal Optics has been focusing on how they can help with the fight against COVID-19. They’ve made large scale donations of goggles for personal protective equipment, and donations to help with food insecurity. To support Zeal’s work, you can join their Earth Day promotion where they’ll be removing 50 pounds of plastics from our world’s oceans for every pair of glasses sold on!

Other COBA members are donating their resources directly to those on the frontlines of the fight against coronavirus. 

Aspen Skiing Co. has shuttered all mountain operations, but despite this hit to their business, they’ve developed a resource list with opportunities to volunteer, donate, and support local businesses. They have also organized volunteers for the county, school district, and local nonprofits; ran a weekly food bank; helped more than 300 lower-income families set up home internet services for their kids’ online school; and donated more than $115,000 in food, toiletries, and grants to nonprofits.

Fourpoints Bars being dropped off in front of a healthcare facility

Fourpoints Bar is driven to protect Colorado’s environment and public lands, but they don’t stop there. During this unprecedented time, they are donating bars to fuel our frontline healthcare workers and are offering a choose your own discount plus free shipping to everyone.

Phil from Wool Hat Creative on a backcountry ski trip

Phil from Wool Hat Creative on a backcountry ski trip

Wool Hat Creative is a media company on a mission to tell meaningful stories that celebrate nature, and advocate to fight climate change and protect wildlife habitat and open spaces. Recognizing a continued need to tell stories through COVID-19, Wool Hat Creative is offering discounted film, video, photo, writing and consulting services to those affected by the crisis.

These businesses are working through big changes in their own ability to meet sales goals and their bottom line, while still finding ways to use their position and resources to support their communities. Given their extensive record of standing for our communities, public lands, air, water, and wildlife before the coronavirus we are not surprised.

If you are able, please consider supporting any of these businesses as they undertake big changes in their operations, and remember how they supported their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Are you a business owner looking to become a COBA member? Find more information here!

If you are a current COBA member interested in highlighting how you are supporting your community during COVID-19, please contact Sarah McCarthy (!