Outdoor City USA Announces Multi-Sport Festival
28 Aug, 2019
“We as an industry want and need to get closer to our customers, to engage them and understand their experiences with our products. That emotional connection with our audience only comes from getting up close and personal, and that is what Outdoor City is all about.”
That’s Outdoor City USA founder Beverly Lucas, speaking from the OCUSA base camp at Bend’s Mt Bachelor resort, where an anticipated 10,000 outdoors enthusiasts of all ages, abilities and disciplines will descend for three nonstop days in mid-September to ride, run, walk, hike, climb and hone skills on some of the most spectacular roads, trails and climbs in the country. Not to mention sampling local Central Oregon music, beer & wine, cuisine and nightlife.
Lucas is a bicycle industry veteran with roots in product development, sales and marketing. The idea for OCUSA came about as a partnership between herself, Mt. Bachelor mountain resort, Visit Bend, Visit Central Oregon, Oregon Outdoor Alliance, Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation, and Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), she says. “I’ve been to bike festivals, trade shows, bike races and events, from local time trials to World Cups to the Tour de France,” Lucas explains. “But I’ve never seen an opportunity that pulls together all of the outdoor sports that families do together, including my own. I knew we had to change that.”
What makes Outdoor City USA unique, she says, is a broad range of activities and disciplines that appeal to participants of all ages and skill levels, and what she calls the festival’s “experiential basis”— opportunities for every attendee to get involved and not just watch, from ‘try-it’ events to hands-on skills clinics to group rides/runs/hikes and wall climbs, all of it supported by a huge industry expo showcasing—and selling—current and future products.
“Frankly,” Lucas adds,” I was getting tired of going to events where one family member participates and everyone else stands around watching. I wanted Outdoor City to be more inclusive, especially for women and kids.” The festival is even dog-friendly (on-leash and inside the off-leash park), she explains.
Scheduled OCUSA events already include a gravel Gran Fondo; group, family and individual mapped road rides; cyclocross races; cross-country and downhill mountain bike racing; Big Air events and demos; balance bike races for kids; 5 and 10K trail races and fun runs; group and family hikes; and events and skills sessions on the massive National Bouldering Championship climbing wall, which is so big it has to be specially brought to the venue by semi truck.
A complete listing will be available soon at outdoorcityusa.com.
Timing of the festival is the last full weekend of summer, September 13-15, 2019. Temperatures are typically in the mid-seventies with sunny weather and cool nights in the forties. In addition to camping in the Deschutes national forest which surrounds the venue, lodging is available in the city of Bend, and regular shuttles make continuous 20-minute trips to the OCUSA venue during Festival hours.
The goal, says Lucas, “is to create the premier experiential outdoor sports festival where cyclists, runners, hikers and climbers of all genders, ages and abilities can participate in the activities they love. And it doesn’t hurt that after a day of playing, they can jump straight into one of our region’s rivers or lakes for a cool-down and a beer or two. I can’t think of anywhere else you can do that. No wonder the whole world wants to come here!”
More info is available on the website outdoorcityusa.com