In 2021, the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT), Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) and the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media (COFTM), along with the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC), joined resources to provide a $79,000 incentive to help live-stream the Ouray Ice Festival which was spectator-free for the 2021 festival because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The incentive also allowed for a 60-minute documentary of the event.
Footage from the resulting documentary "Topping Out!" -- along with a live interview with Peter O'Neil, the executive director of the Ouray Ice Park -- was recently featured on “Steven’s Best Places in America” on Fox News on Friday January 21 and again on Saturday, January 22 for their National Weather segment.
“We’re thrilled by the additional exposure of our documentary and increased awareness of the Ouray Ice Festival and Climbing Competition,” said Rob Simon of Burst Marketing who produced the documentary. “It has increased interest in this adrenaline-inducing sport and because of that interest, we are again live streaming the event in 2022.”
The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) Ice Climbing North American Championships 2022 in Ouray will be live-streamed February 5, 2022 to 80+ countries, reaching an estimated 200 million households.
Snippets of the 2021 event will be shown throughout the live stream during the thrilling finals competition, along with interviews with world-renown climbers, spectators and others excited about the return of live outdoor events and tourism during the Ouray Ice Festival, making the 2021 documentary one of the farthest-reaching projects the COFTM has ever incentivized.
“We couldn’t be more excited for the reception and reach of this documentary,” said Donald Zuckerman, Film Commissioner for the COFTM. “We know that tourism represents a lion’s share of Ouray’s economy and because the 2021 event was spectator-free, we knew we needed to do something to maintain the awareness and enthusiasm for the event. Not only did we achieve this, but believe it has also increased interest and awareness of the sport and the town of Ouray. This is definitely a win for everyone involved.”
Watch Peter O’Neil’s Fox News segment here. To tune in live to the UIAA event on February 5 at 11:00 MST, visit the Ouray Ice Park website for more information.
To read more about the Ouray Ice Festival and OEDIT’s continued support of the community, read Jason Blevins’ article in the January 27 Colorado Sun.