Outdoor recreation generates $13.9 billion for Colorado economy
The outdoor recreation economy generated $13.9 billion in Colorado in 2022, a 19% increase from 2021, a new analysis shows.
State of play: The industry accounts for 2.8% of the state's gross domestic product, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found in a report released Friday.
- About 130,000 jobs are attributed to outdoor recreation, a 9% increase from 2021.
Why it matters: The figures demonstrate that outdoor recreation is a sizable chunk of the state's economy and give the industry clout among the state's policymakers.
What they're saying: "We must continue to champion destination stewardship, more equitable access to the outdoors, a healthy workforce, and continued sustainable growth of the industry," Conor Hall, Colorado's Outdoor Recreation Industry Office director, said in a statement.
The big picture: The industry contributed $1.1 trillion in economic output nationwide, growing at a rate of 4.8% — more than double the economy at large. It amounted to 2.2% of national GDP with 5 million jobs, the report states.
- It's the largest economic impact the industry ever recorded, according to the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, an advocacy group.
- The top five activities by economic output: RVing; boating and fishing; motorcycles and ATVs; hunting and shooting; and snow activities, such as skiing.
Zoom in: Colorado saw personal expenditures on outdoor activities increase 10% in 2022 compared to the prior year, federal data shows. It doesn't match the 15% jump at the height of the pandemic, but represents the second year of double-digit growth.
- Snow sports activities are the largest single driver within the industry, contributing $1.4 billion to the state's economy.
Of note: For purposes of the analysis, the outdoor industry includes amusement parks, festivals and sporting events, as well as golf, tennis and guided tours.
Editor's note: This story's photo caption has been corrected to show the outdoor recreation industry generated $13.9 billion (not million) for Colorado's economy.
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