BOULDER, Colo. – July 26, 2017 — Outdoor recreation is a huge economic force in the state of Wyoming. It generates $5.6 billion annually in consumer spending, directly contributes a whopping 50,000 jobs and contributes $514 million in state and local tax revenue, according to the Outdoor Recreation Economy state report released today by Outdoor Industry Association (OIA).
“No matter your political affiliation, where you live or your walk of life, the outdoors brings us together,” said Amy Roberts, OIA executive director. “From Maine to California, consumers are spending more on outdoor recreation as millions of Americans depend on it for their livelihoods. Outdoor recreation is a powerful economic engine that contributes to businesses and healthy communities in each and every state and is a vital and sustainable sector that relies on investing in and protecting America’s public lands and waters.”
OIA’s report also highlights that 73 percent of Wyoming’s 585,000 residents participate in outdoor recreation each year. Additionally, the report shows that 5,000 jobs in Wyoming depend on trail and snow sports, which is just as many as jobs that are dependant upon coal.
"Wyoming is an incredible state with amazing recreational opportunities and expansive public lands," said NOLS executive director John Gans. "This report puts numbers to the economic importance of outdoor recreation and should catch the attention of legislators and policymakers statewide. Wyoming's sustainable recreation economy is key to the health and vibrancy of communities across Wyoming."
The report highlights another point many in the industry already know—that outdoor recreation doesn’t just generate a healthy lifestyle or significant dollars but also adds 50,000 jobs to Wyoming’s job pool (as highlighted above) and $1.6 billion in wages and salaries.
"These numbers put shape to something that those of us in Wyoming have long believed— outdoor recreation is not only an immense part of the Wyoming lifestyle, it is integral to our economy. The vast majority of us spend time playing in the outdoors on a regular basis. Many of us—retailers, manufacturers and service providers—have found that living in this fantastic place is great business for those tied into the outdoor industry. Our vistas and mountains, lakes and rivers all support and enable an industry that employees a large portion of our residents. Outdoor recreation is a vital part of our future, and this data serves to highlight a key fact: Wyoming does great business thanks to the outdoors and has the opportunity to do so much more," said Wes Allen of Sunlight Sports.
"Wyoming is an outdoor recreation mecca. We are excited and encouraged that Wyoming's newest numbers on economic data produced by OIA reflect the outdoor recreation powerhouse that Wyoming is," said Domenic Bravo, administrator at Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails.
As outlined in the state report, Wyoming remains well positioned to continue to grow its outdoor recreation economy, but as with any sector, there are actions that can support and grow the industry. Outdoor Industry Association urges state policymakers to do the following:
- Adequately fund state and local parks and trails to make them attractive and accessible to families and friends seeking to get outside.
- Take steps to raise awareness of the importance of the outdoor recreation economy (for example, Governor Matt Mead has shown leadership through the creation of the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Task Force, whose final policy recommendations are due out next month).
- Develop and plan urban areas in a way that means all citizens can get outside and recreate within 30 minutes of their homes.
- Support policies that encourage outdoor innovators to start businesses in Wyoming.
Outdoor Industry Association issued the first Outdoor Recreation Economy state-level report in 2012 and has made significant improvements to the report since then. This second edition of the state report takes a broader view of the growing industry and its shifting demographics. The sample that was drawn for this study was designed to represent the U.S. population on the basis of gender, age, education and race.
Respondents were solicited through Survey Sampling International (SSI), a longtime leader in survey research. The report was made possible through the generous support of REI, Patagonia, The North Face, W.L. Gore, People for Bikes, The Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) and The Outdoor Foundation.
About Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. Outdoor Industry Association unites and serves over 1,200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit www.outdoorindustry.org.