CASPER, Wyo. — A new nonprofit organization will be located in Casper, and will work to promote both Casper and Wyoming as sports and outdoor recreation destinations.
It’s called the “Wyoming Sports & Outdoor Recreation Alliance,” and CEO John Giantonio says the organization has already been registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) and are recognized by the Wyoming Secretary of State.
“We are not just Casper focused, we are Wyoming focused,” Giantonio told Oil City on Thursday, June 13.
Article continues below...
Their first event is already scheduled for August 24. That will be the “Wyoming Off-Road Rendezvous,” an event for off-road vehicle enthusiasts.
Giantonio himself has a 4-Runner, but said that various off-road vehicle companies will be invited to the event as well as thing like tire suppliers.
People will have the chance to enter their vehicles into a contest and the public will vote on their favorite ride.
The event will take place at 1415 East Yellowstone Highway, the former Foss Motors location where Giantonio said Extreme Truck Services will be moving in and have agreed to host the event.
Another purpose of that event will be to kick start the Wyoming Sports & Outdoor Recreation Alliance funding efforts so they can work to promote more sports and outdoor events in Casper and around the state.
“We’re using this event to get us up and running,” he Giantonio said.
Giantonio was formerly the director of the Casper Sports Alliance.
“They’re going a different direction as it relates to sports,” he said of the CSA.
With the new organization, Giantonio hopes to give more support to outdoor activities in addition to supporting indoor sporting events.
“We’re increasing the focus on outdoor recreation,” he said.
Giantonio said that places like Casper have a lot of outdoor space and opportunities to organize these types of activities.
But he’s also excited about the potential for Casper to add more indoor facilities for sports activities, pointing to an Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board-backed concept to construct an indoor sports facility at the Platte River Commons.
That facility would be similar to the NCHS Field House or the University of Wyoming Field House and would provide a space for activiites such as indoor soccer..
“It could be an extraordinary opportunity for Casper,” Giantonia said. “We want to be there to help.”
“I think it’s a good sign for Wyoming and a good sign for Casper.”
Giantonio will also be drawing on his 25 years of experience promoting sports and recreation. He said that this includes work he did around the 1994 World Cup and the 1996 Summer Olympics.
This experience will be relevant as Denver looks to host World Cup events and Salt Lake City looks to host Winter Olympic events going forward.
Denver is one of 17 American cities competing for 10 slots to host World Cup events in 2026, according to the Denver Post.
Salt Lake City is looking to host the 2030 Winter Olympics, something they did in 2002, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Giantonio said that Wyoming could capitalize on those events coming to surrounding states if work is done to position it correctly.
“This organization wants to be in a place that we can go talk with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) of FIFA,” Giantonio said.
He said the Wyoming Sports & Outdoor Recreation Alliance would also look to reach out the Denver Sports Commission and the Utah Sports Commission to promote activities in Wyoming.
“Wyoming is just a great place to live,” Giantonio said, adding that it has the resources for outdoor recreational activities to really succeed and support the economy.
The Wyoming Off-Road Rendezvous won’t be the only way the new organization will look to fund itself.
Giantonio said they’ll also apply for Daniels Fund grants, which are given to support nonprofits in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
In the long-term Giantonio said that the Wyoming Sports & Outdoor Recreation Alliance looks to sustain itself by securing sponsorships for the events they’ll organize and also raise funds directly through those events.
In addition to helping generate economic activity for Casper and Wyoming, Giantonio said facilitating sports and outdoor activities is a good way to promote a healthy lifestyle for people and children in particular.
“These events are really great for our community,” he said.