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Outdoor Recreation Thriving in Washington’s 8th Congressional District With $2.27 Billion in Annual Resident Spending

April 17, 2018

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outdoor@sunshinesachs.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 17, 2018 Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today released its Outdoor Recreation Economy report for Washington’s 8th 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 Washington’s 8th Congressional District spend $2.27 billion on outdoor recreation, and at least 52 outdoor companies call the district home. Statewide, Washington’s outdoor recreation economy generates $26.2 billion in annual consumer spending and supports 201,000 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.

“With 201,000 jobs in Washington State and an economic impact of over $26 billion, outdoor recreation is one of the largest industries in our state, said Congressman Dave Reichert. “Washington is lucky to have some of the best public lands in America, especially in my district. Washingtonians also know how to take full advantage of the hiking, skiing, fishing, climbing and many more outdoor opportunities these lands offer. Not only are these fun activities, but they are economic drivers for our communities. This is why I will continue to be a strong advocate for Washington’s public lands and the benefits they bring to my constituents and our economy.”

“At REI, we believe that a life outdoors is a life well lived,” said Marc Berejka, the co-op’s director of community and government affairs. “Time adventuring in nature brings out the best in us—individually, when we’re with friends and family, regardless of background. It’s also increasingly understood that when Washingtonians spend time outdoors, they help drive the economy. Today’s latest economic impact studies from Outdoor Industry Association show that public investment in recreation opportunities generates large returns, making our local communities stronger and healthier, both urban and rural. Studies like these make it clear why outdoor recreation is a must-have for all of us.”

“Twenty years ago we chose to establish our U.S. subsidiary right here in Western Washington. The climate, the geography and the love of all things outdoors made it a perfect home for a brand like Ortlieb to grow and develop,” said Jeff Scully, president of Ortlieb USA LLC. “On any given day, you can be paddling or cycling in the morning and hiking on a snow field in the afternoon. Finding passionate, dedicated team members has been easy in this region as it constantly attracts active, thoughtful people who love spending time outdoors and caring for the environment.”

As outlined in Washington’s 8th 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.

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