2020 was an interesting year for everyone. The volunteer leadership of the OBA and our outdoor industry partners have been working hard to identify the opportunities and challenges facing us in the future, develop a better structure and model to support the growth of the industry, and ensure we are sustainably able to grow and weather any future storms that might arise. For highlights from our winter board planning retreat head over to the OBA website here. 

Our goal moving forward is to build on our current support offerings, networking, mentoring, education, and resources to continue helping all of our members grow no matter their size. We are also evolving to fill the need in the region in having a comprehensive industry association supporting all aspects of our amazing outdoor ecosystem. That includes engaging, supporting, and bringing in our outfitters, service providers, retailers, non-profit partners and connecting them with our makers and product development companies and business support partners to elevate the industry’s impact as a whole. 

In 2021, we are :

  • Launching a new job board
  • Expanding our education and program offerings
  • Providing more opportunities for you as members to engage in and support the growth of this movement through expanded committee structures, events, and collaborations.  
  • Supporting the launch of a new regional brand campaign for the outdoor industry in WNC
  • Co-directing the Outdoor Economy Conference which we hope to be in person and bigger and better than before
  • Creating the plan for the next phase of the outdoor economy with our regional partners as part of the Growing Outdoors Partnership

We have also been working behind the scenes to make our processes more efficient, equitable, easy to understand, and relevant to all members new and existing. One of the ways we are doing this is by updating our membership structure, categories, and pricing. This update is benchmarked off other industry associations and is a best practice that we wanted to model.

Below we’ve outlined what these new membership levels will look like for 2021. 

  • Outdoor Industry Member –  A company or organization in the outdoor industry that makes, produces, sells, and distributes physical products, or provides an experience. Includes manufacturers, outfitters, retailers, sales rep/agency, distributors, consultants, camps, and nonprofits that are solely outdoor recreation focused. The annual dues will be on a sliding scale based on the company’s annual revenue. 
  • Supporting Member– previously called Business Affiliates, is a company or organization not solely producing, providing or selling an outdoor recreation product or service but consistently supports and partners with outdoor industry members. Includes PR/media, law firms, tech support, and nonprofits. Supporting Members are also public agencies, visitors bureaus, and other nonprofits that provide some outdoor recreation activities and promotion but it is not their primary mission  The annual dues will be a flat fee.
  • Friend of the OBA – Individuals who wants to support the mission of the OBA but do not work in the industry or provide a service or product for any of the above membership categories. Individual Member annual dues will be a flat fee. 

Member Fees: 

Outdoor Industry Members sliding scale:

  • $200 – < $100,000 in annual revenue
  • $250 – $100k – $500k in annual revenue
  • $350 – $500k – $1 mill in annual revenue 
  • $450 – $1mill – $5 mill in annual revenue 
  • $550 – $5mill+  in annual revenue 

Supporting Member Flat Fee: $350 

Friend of OBA: $50 flat fee 

 In addition to updating the categories and membership pricing, we have also added a more streamlined application process and payment portal on our website where you can easily pay for your membership renewal with a credit card. If you need to pay by check that is still an option, just reach out to us directly to facilitate it. 

We believe these updates in programs, services, and structure will make it easier for everyone to engage and benefit from the OBA while providing more efficiency and resources for us to do so in a sustainable way. It is an exciting time for the outdoor industry here in WNC and we look forward to being able to get back together in person, expanding our network, and working with each of you.

We Grow Together!