Government Report Reaffirms Outdoor Recreation’s Role as a Significant Economic Driver

by International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Newly released economic data on the national and, for the first time ever, state levels reinforce what the outdoor recreation industry has long believed: Outdoor recreation is a powerful driver of national and local economies and it is growing faster than the U.S. economy as a whole.
This is the second consecutive year that the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has released formal, national-level data, a notable milestone for the industry now identified as a unique sector of the economy. For the first time, BEA also released preliminary data on the outdoor recreation economy at the state level for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Having a rich set of both state and national data on outdoor recreation to draw upon will inform decision-making by businesses, policymakers, and managers of public lands and waters.
Highlights from BEA’s new report on the outdoor recreation economy:
Outdoor recreation makes up 2.2 percent of U.S. GDP, generating $778 billion in gross output and supporting 5.2 million jobs.
In terms of economic output, boating/fishing, RVing, motorcycling/ATVing, hunting/shooting/trapping, and equestrian sports are the five largest conventional outdoor recreation activities.
Outdoor recreation’s share of GDP is larger than a host of traditionally recognized industries, including mining, utilities, farming and ranching, and chemical products manufacturing.
The top five states where outdoor recreation accounts for the largest percentage of each states’ total GDP are Hawaii, Montana, Maine, Vermont, and Wyoming.
The top five states where outdoor recreation accounts for the largest percentage of total U.S. GDP are California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas.
“Since introducing outdoor recreation statistics last year, it’s been good to hear businesspeople, policymakers, and outdoor enthusiasts confirm the value of these data,” said Brian Moyer, director of BEA. “Today we’re taking these economic data to the next level by breaking them down by state, showing the impact of activities like bicycling, fishing, and skiing in the places where the equipment is made, the park fees are paid, and people have fun.”
“Outdoor recreation is vital to the economy in New Hampshire and around the country,” said SenatorJeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “As the co-author of legislation that secured this study, I understand how critical this new, state-level data will be in helping to quantify the economic impact, demonstrate the importance of the outdoor recreation industry, and inform policymakers about how best to strengthen this important sector of our economy.”
“The Forest Service provides many services to the American public through outdoor recreation and we are pleased to be doing our part to sustain that thriving economy – serving 150 million visitors directly on our national forests and 300 million more on natural and scenic roads passing through our forests and grasslands each year,” said Vicki Christiansen, chief of the U.S. Forest Service. “We proudly partner with Outdoor Recreation Roundtable members and other businesses and local communities to deliver high-quality recreation experiences.”
“Today’s release of state data is a significant step forward for the entire outdoor recreation industry,” said Jessica Wahl, executive director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “This second full year of national data – together with prototype state-level numbers – proves that our industry is a driving economic force across the country. ORR will continue to work with Congress, federal agencies, state governments, and others to ensure that everyone has access to our public lands and waters and that our nation’s outdoor infrastructure can sustain and grow healthy communities and healthy economies.”
“While this report contains many invaluable insights, there is one takeaway that bears repeating: The outdoor recreation industry – led by boating and fishing – has earned its seat at the decision-making table,” said Nicole Vasilaros, senior vice president of government and legal affairs at the National MarineManufacturers Association (NMMA). “Thanks to unwavering support from Senator Cory Gardner, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Congressman Don Beyer, BEA was able to expand the study’s initial scope and shine a light on the tremendous economic benefits outdoor recreation activities provide in each state. Armed with this new, robust set of data, we will continue educating policymakers on actions they should take to promote and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities across the country.”

Ed Klim, president of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA), an ORR Board of Directors member, states, “Collectively, Outdoor Recreation is very important for the American economy. Snowmobiling, which is enjoyed by over 3 million Americans, generates over $20 Billion dollars of economic activity in rural American economies. In many cases, snowmobiling is the recreation of choice for residents living in the northern snow-belt region of the United States, and supports local businesses during the winter months. Snowmobilers are active all year, and participate in many other forms of outdoor recreation.”
America’s outdoor recreation community, represented by ORR, is working to ensure permanent funding for the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) – BEA’s official designation for this project – so the economic importance of national and regional outdoor recreation economies can be tracked for years to come. To learn more about ORR and outdoor recreation’s contributions to the economy, click here.
The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is America’s premier coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations, made up of 28 members representing over 50,000 American businesses. These organizations represent a sector of the economy that produces $778 billion in economic output, accounts for 2.2% of U.S. GDP and supports 5.2 million jobs – all while growing faster than the nation’s economy as a whole.

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Snowmobile Community looks forward to a great winter

by International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association

Haslett, MI, September 17, 2019: The snowmobile manufacturers are looking forward to a strong sales year and great snowmobiling. New products at spring shows had a warm acceptance and advanced showings and open houses are touting excellent crowd interest and deposits on new sleds. This winter promises abundant reasonably priced fuel matched with a snowy winter, supported by the Farmers Almanac for the snow belt across North America. According to most weather forecasts, we can expect higher than normal snowfalls and “real winter” temperatures.

The winter forecast is welcome news for snowmobilers who are already preparing the trails, riding areas, and their snowmobiles. Work has begun on trails and riding areas across North America – which are always being improved with new signs, new bridges (if needed) and care and maintenance to the overall infrastructure.

This past year, the snowmobile industry worked through a slow start for winter. Yet, the manufacturers realized a 7% gain in sales.

Go Snowmobiling/Take a Friend Snowmobiling campaigns are being planned and expanded as more snowmobile clubs and associations are helping introduce new riders and others to the sport each year. Visit the website to see the Go Snowmobiling / Take a Friend guide.

Recent surveys highlight that snowmobilers are active outdoor enthusiasts participating in many activities such as fishing, hunting, camping, boating, etc.

Sales for 2018-2019 in the US totaled 55,025 new snowmobiles, while snowmobile sales in Canada showed 46,784 new snowmobiles sold. Sales in Europe were over

31,000 new snowmobiles sold. Based on new economic impact data, snowmobilers generated more than $35 billion dollars in economic activity and supported record collection of tax revenue to local, state, and federal government agencies.

Club and Association participation is increasing and supporting the snowmobiling infrastructure. Previously owned snowmobiles are increasing in market value. The supply of used snowmobiles continues to be relatively low but yet available to the many new snowmobilers interested in entering the sport with a proven, well maintained product.

The sale of parts, garments, and accessories has been very strong as well as the sales of snowmobile related gear, trailers, etc. Record sales of pick-up trucks point to a positive future for snowmobiling, since most pick-up truck owners are outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy snowmobiling and outdoor winter recreation.

Snowmobilers continue to purchase high-tech products for their use and enjoyment and are eagerly embracing new global positioning and communication equipment for their snowmobiles.

Snowmobilers are very safety conscious and are improving their preparedness for a safe snowmobiling winter. A growing numbers of snowmobilers participate in mountain riding. With this continued increase in mountain riding, there is special emphasis on avalanche safety equipment (such as beacons, shovels, etc.) and participation in avalanche safety awareness classes.

Snowmobile dealerships are well positioned to take advantage of the growth potential this year, and with the positive forecast, many can expect early snowfall that will last through the winter. Snowmobilers are excited about the upcoming winter. You are invited to like us on Facebook at and tell your friends too! Share your enthusiasm and visit with us on our Go Snowmobiling website: .