The 2018 Wright Award Contenders

The 2018 Wright Award contenders have been announced! We are very excited to learn about this incredible selection of Rocky Mountain-based, outdoor-inspired businesses. The Wright has been one of the outdoor industry’s signature award programs in Colorado where the most innovative outdoor-inspired companies are honored and celebrated. This year, The Wright is expanding beyond Colorado and changing things up. This celebrated industry summit and award program will be recognizing outdoor-inspired innovative businesses with a three day expanded program May 1-3, 2018, in its new event home of Golden, Colorado.


The Wright is more than an industry showcase for innovation and outdoor lifestyle companies, states Chuck Sullivan, co-founder of Something Independent, the visionary team who handcrafts and produces The Wright. “The Wright is recognizing that unique breed of leader,” he says. “The kind to bet on instinct over conventional wisdom. They’re just out to do good work. Their work. They can be a little tough to corral, but for three days in May, we’ll gather and celebrate their companies and their communities.”


For six years, The Wright held a cornerstone date on the fall calendar of not-to-miss outdoor industry events in Denver. “The shift to spring points to new and exciting happenings,” says Sullivan. “For The Wright to put down new roots in Golden, a foothills community with the slogan – ‘Where the West Lives’ – and at Colorado School of Mines, a university dedicated to pioneering research that addresses the great challenges society faces today, speaks to much of what The Wright is all about: independent spirits, resilient communities, and purposeful work.”


Over the course of three days, The Wright convenes a cross-section of industry leaders, shedding light on the far-reaching impact of the outdoor-inspired entrepreneur on the economy and brand of the Rocky Mountain Region. A new series of open-to-the-public panel discussions and daily keynotes lead up to the much anticipated Award Night on Thursday, May 3 hosted in partnership with Colorado School of Mines.


Each year, Something Independent embarks on a mission to assemble the new class of contenders. Twelve contenders for The Wright were selected from more than 125 peer-based nominations of innovative companies from five states in the Rocky Mountain region. In moving toward an expanded regional showcase, The Wright fielded nominations from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, opening the door for companies from outside of Colorado to be selected as official contenders for The Wright.


“This industry, its companies and their founders share a mindset. The Wright has convened these disruptive innovators and gritty, hard-working entrepreneurs who are inspired by the outdoors and celebrated their approach to work” says Luis Benitez, director, Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industries. “We’re proud of our Colorado companies, but we’re all in this together. Something Independent, in bringing these stories from across the Rocky Mountain region into the public realm, provides a fresh lens and unique opportunity for all of us to connect and collaborate.”

Since its inception in 2010, The Wright has recognized nearly 100 companies, representing 26 towns across Colorado including Voormi of Pagosa Springs, South Main Co and Deerhammer Distilling from Buena Vista, Bonsai Design of Grand Junction, Icelantic Skis and Yeti Cycles from Golden, Big Agnes and Hala Gear from Steamboat Springs, Oskar Blues from Longmont (and Lyons), Rapidgrass Bluegrass Festival in Idaho Springs, Eldorado Climbing Walls in Boulder and Denver-based Flylow Gear and Topo Designs.


“So often outdoor-inspired businesses are hatched from ideas shared around the campfire, on the river or over a whiskey,” says Sullivan about The Wright. “These companies are set apart by their grit and determination. We, at Something Independent, were simply drawn to their work and desired to delve deeper into their stories, bring them together and celebrate their wins.”


The 2018 contenders for the 7th class of The Wright are:

The schedule of panels, keynotes and events will be announced later this month and will incorporate both free and ticketed programs. Ticketed events will go on sale in March. For information about The Wright, visit


If the outdoor industry is your passion then get this event into your Calendar and prepare to attend a remarkable gathering with a like-minded Tribe and incredible entrepreneurs.


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