Outdoor Recreation Thriving in Montana’s At-Large Congressional District With $3.61 Billion in Annual Resident Spending

April 17, 2018

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 17, 2018 Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today released its Outdoor Recreation Economy report for Montana’s At-large Congressional District, the first report of its kind that comprehensively captures the power of a vast multi-billion dollar economic engine in our local communities and across the nation.

Every year, residents of Montana’s At-large Congressional District spend $3.61 billion on outdoor recreation, and at least 165 outdoor companies call the district home. Statewide, Montana’s outdoor recreation economy generates $7.1 billion in annual consumer spending and supports 71,000 jobs.

“Communities across the United States are stronger when our elected leaders invest in outdoor recreation,” said Amy Roberts, OIA executive director. “In every congressional district across the nation, outdoor recreation provides much-needed diversity to local economies, but it also helps bridge what divides us and brings this country together. It is critical that we protect the land and water that are the foundation of this powerful economic driver and continue to invest in and support these state and local recreation economies so that we can all continue to thrive outside.”

Today’s report comes as OIA releases Outdoor Recreation Economy reports for all 435 congressional districts for the first time, showing that from rural towns to the most densely populated cities, outdoor recreation is a vital economic force that not only creates billions in spending and millions of good-paying American jobs, but it also creates healthier communities, healthier economies and healthier people.

“In Montana, we’re known for our fishing, hunting, camping and hiking,” said Congressman Greg Gianforte. “They play an important role in our economy, with out-of-state visitors spending nearly $3.49 billion in Montana on outdoor recreation. As a proud supporter of our public lands, I’m a strong voice for the recreational opportunities they provide, as well as for the businesses that help make them more enjoyable.”

“As a Bozeman-based company made up of 180 employees, we are passionate about outdoor recreation, especially fishing,” said K.C. Walsh, executive chairman of Simms Fishing Products. “We also understand that outdoor recreation is a powerful economic engine. In addition to contributing $7.1 billion to our economy, our robust outdoor recreation options provide Montana businesses with a competitive edge when it comes to attracting and maintaining skilled employees. It is critical that we all remain vigilant to ensure continued protection of these resources.”

As outlined in Montana’s At-large Congressional District report, the district 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 local and federal policymakers to do the following:

  • Visit the OIA Advocacy Center to learn more about the important role the outdoor recreation economy plays—and the impact it has—in your state, your district and in your local community.
  • Adequately fund state and local parks and trails, the foundation of local recreation economies that bring communities together.
  • Support community planning that allows all citizens to go outside and recreate within 30 minutes of their homes.
  • Support policies that encourage outdoor entrepreneurs and innovators to start businesses.

Last year, OIA released the third version of “The Outdoor Recreation Economy” report, the largest and most comprehensive report of its kind to date. That report showed that the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually, sustains 7.6 million American jobs and generates $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue each year.

Subsequently, OIA released state-level Outdoor Recreation Economy reports featuring economic data for all 50 states across the United States, offering a deeper look into a thriving sector that’s helping to create healthier economies and healthier communities.

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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. OIA unites and serves over 1,300 manufacturers, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org.