University of Idaho Extension, Valley County U-Idaho Extension Image Map

recreation summit Valley CountyThe June 20 Recreation Summit is an initiative from the McCall Chamber and the (region’s) Winter Recreation Committee and is supported by the Valley County Economic Development Council, the County & Cities, local communities and businesses.

  • Where: the Shore Lodge (Pavilion room)
  • When: June 20 from 1:00PM – 6:30PM

Free registration:

  • Go to the registration page or email us for more information


  • The Local Perspective: Guest Research, a consulting firm from Colorado, will present the results of the Winter Recreation Survey funded with grants from the Idaho Department of Tourism, Valley county and the City of McCall. Some 20 recreation providers across Valley and Adams County collected surveys from 800+ winter recreants and lodging guests during this 2012/2013 winter season.
  • The State Perspective: Karan Ballard, Chief Tourism Officer with Idaho Department of Commerce
  • Karen Ballard’s duties involve development and implementation of Idaho’s $3.5 million travel promotion and marketing program as well as overseeing the $3 million regional grant program for non-profit tourism organizations.
    Travelers contribute over 4 billion dollars to Idaho’s economy making it now the third largest industry in the state.
    Karen joined the Idaho Department of Commerce in 1992 for a newly created position to promote the state internationally. By successfully tapping into trends, such as cultural, historic, international and rural tourism, the Division facilitates attracting not only tourists but also bolstering small community service providers.
    A native of Washington State, Ballard received her degree in Legal Studies from UC Berkeley before relocating to Idaho in 1982. Ballard began her tourism career with the Elkhorn Resort in Sun Valley where she met her future husband Brian when he asked to join her golf round.
    will discuss partnership and collaborative opportunities for Valley and Adams County
  • The Western US Perspective: food for thoughts and strategies from keynote speaker Emilyn Sheffield, professor with California State University
  • Emilyn Sheffield is a Professor of Recreation and Parks Management at California State University, Chico where over 500 students volunteer their time and talents to public lands though Field School each year and nearly as many are preparing for careers in hospitality, parks, recreation and tourism.
    Since 1986 she has worked with partners to connect people to the natural places that enhance their lives. Her applied research projects and high-energy presentations help natural resource leaders and their partners respond more effectively to changing demographic and lifestyle trends. She is currently investigating community engagement, volunteerism, and conservation stewardship through university service learning throughout California.
    Dr. Sheffield also works with interdisciplinary teams on projects involving scenic byways, alternative transit, long distance trails, tourism infrastructure, and visitor services throughout California and the western United States. These projects share the common goal of increasing access to and support for public lands through branding, identity systems, strategic planning, or product development. Emilyn will discuss “Playing to win in a changing America” with recreation as context.
  • Social Hour: this is the time to discuss ideas, catch up with anyone involved in business, recreation or economic development, and tackle public officials. Finger food provided; cash bar.

Background information:

Winter recreation survey

There is a clear recognition in Valley County that the region’s recreational opportunities represent two important economic advantages to our region: they bring in “outside monies” from tourists, retirees and 2nd home owners and they provide a “quality of life” reason for business-owners and individuals to relocate to our region and strengthen our economy.

The Winter Recreation Committee, a volunteer organization representing businesses and user groups involved in every mode of winter sport in Valley and Adams County, decided to collect data during the 2012/13 Winter season to assess opportunities for improvement and provide practical information to local businesses that:

  • extend stays in the region for people currently lodging and learn how to entice drive up/drive back visitors to stay over night
  • assist winter recreation businesses in growing their businesses
  • develop information that will promote the area as a great place to retire or purchase a second home
  • develop information that will help us attract visitors who have briefcase employment or entice businesses to relocate to the area

The committee secured funding from the Idaho Tourism Division, Valley County and the City of McCall to execute the survey. All businesses and user groups were invited to take part; participating groups included Backcountry Skiing (Payette Powder Guides, The Hub Mountain House, Brundage Snow Cat, Gravity Sports Idaho), Cross-Country skiing (McCall Area Pass, Bear Basin, Lake Cascade Sate Park), Alpine Skiing (Brundage and Tamarack Mountain, Little Ski Hill), McCall Area Snowmobilers, and several lodging establishments (McCall Hotel, Shore Lodge, Hunt Lodge, Tamarack Lodging, McCall Cabins, Accommodation Services, InIdaho)

Social Hour

Some fifty Valley County residents explored regional economic development in a series of monthly workshops from August 2011 through May 2012. Participants broadly represented local (county and city) governments, businesses and non-government organizations.

The May meeting resulted in the formation of the Valley County Economic Development Council (ValleyEDC), but also voiced wide support to organize an annual or semi-annual cocktail to bring together businesses, non-profits, education and public leadership of the region. The winter recreation committee and ValleyEDC felt that the June 20 recreation summit was an excellent opportunity partnered to include this type of event.

 May 23, 2013