Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

November 2018


Outdoor Recreation Adds Billions to U.S. Economy

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Nearly $1 Million in Pool Grants Awarded - November 2018

Report: One in Four Americans Use a Health Club - November 2018

New Active Transportation Program Aims to Boost Health & Environment - November 2018

Foundation Celebrates Sports Innovations - October 2018

Grant Awarded to Chattanooga Nature Play Area - October 2018

Obesity Continues to Challenge America's Health - October 2018

Grant Program Funds Keep America Beautiful Initiatives - October 2018

Nation's Pediatricians Emphasize Power of Play - October 2018

Step Into Swim Continues to Create New Swimmers - September 2018

Pickleball Benefits Older Adults - September 2018

NSPF Endorses MAHC Adoption - September 2018

Cities Spend More on Public Parks in 2018 - September 2018

Be Ready for Back-to-School Sports - August 2018

NRPA, Pool Safely Partner on Water & Recreation Safety - August 2018

States Make Progress Toward Active Transportation - August 2018

IHRSA Briefing Looks at Club Employees vs. Contractors - August 2018

ACSM & Wellcoaches Expand Offerings for Fitness Pros - July 2018

Grants Help Local Trail Projects - July 2018

Grant to Boost Meals & Nutrition for Kids - July 2018

Trust for Public Land Releases ParkServe Database - July 2018

CPSC Asks for Vigilance to Prevent Child Drowning - July 2018

TPL Earns NEA Grant to Explore Creative Placemaking - June 2018

High Visa Denial Rates Could Affect Pools - June 2018

Make a Splash Campaign Teaches Millions to Swim - June 2018

Communities Can Earn Grants for Dog Park Development - June 2018

National Golf Day Celebrates Green Practices - May 2018

YMCA Recognized for Diversity - May 2018

Americans Support Pollinator Health, And Parks Can Help - May 2018

How to Encourage Play—Everywhere! - April 2018

Partnership, Grants to Boost Mountain Bike Trail Development - April 2018

Parks & Recreation Supports More Than 1.1 Million Jobs - April 2018

Club Pilates Grows With New Training Facility - April 2018

IHRSA Sees Positive Growth for Fitness Pros - April 2018

Denver's Freedom Park Wins Grant for Public Art - March 2018

NSPF, Counsilman-Hunsaker Partner to Create App for Aquatic Facility Managers - March 2018

More Than 330 Million Recreation Visits Recorded in 2017 for National Park System - March 2018

Study Shows Economic Benefits of the Great Outdoors - March 2018

Parks for Inclusion Initiative Aims to Expand Reach to All Americans - February 2018

SHAPE America, NFL & Partners Collaborate on Training for Health & P.E. Educators - February 2018

CPSC Offers $1.1 Million in Pool Safely Grants - February 2018

Bipartisan PHIT Act Could Boost America's Wellness - February 2018

China Plant Shutdowns May Affect Pool Operations & Budgets - January 2018

Arlington County 'Pulls Together' to Remove Invasive Plants - January 2018

Youth Sports Participation Increases for Underserved Kids - January 2018

Study: Physical Activity Boosts Learning Time - January 2018

Preventing Germs in Gyms: What Works? - December 2017

Study: Laws Reduce Recurrent Concussions - December 2017

Grants Awarded for Urban Water & Wildlife Habitat Restoration - December 2017

APSP University Launches New Certification Course - November 2017

New Series Aims to Empower Students With Healthy Habits - November 2017

US Club Soccer Puts Focus on Player Safety - November 2017

New Initiative Aims to Ensure All Have Access to Parks & Rec - November 2017

By Dave Ramont

In our era of constantly evolving technology and smart devices, it’s nice to know that the outdoor recreation industry is growing too, as more people are heading outside for leisure and adventure. A recent report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on the outputs from outdoor recreation shows that outdoor recreation now accounts for 2.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). The report states that more than $734 billion is contributed by outdoor recreation to the total U.S. gross output.

Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the leading trade association for the outdoor industry, said their analysis shows that Americans spend $887 billion annually on outdoor recreation and that all of this data underscores how outdoor recreation is a significant and growing contributor to the U.S. economy.

“BEA’s final numbers confirm what the outdoor industry has always known: that outdoor recreation truly is an economic force, accounting for over 2 percent of the entire nation’s GDP and growing faster than the economy as a whole,” Roberts said. “We strongly encourage members of Congress to invest in public lands as these numbers demonstrate the return on investment.”

Americans cherish their outdoor experiences, according to Jerry Stritzke, president and CEO of REI Co-op, and this unites us as a nation, as well as being good for the economy. “The government’s data confirms what many of us in the industry have known for quite some time,” he said. “Millions of Americans love to get outside and enjoy time with friends and family, adventuring right out their back doors or off into our iconic wild places.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) explained that her state draws visitors from around the world. She believes that protecting our environment and expanding outdoor recreation is fundamental to the tourism industry. “This report shows that outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse and underscores the need to continue investing in measures that preserve our environment and access to public lands.”

Shaheen, who worked on the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact (REC) Act authored by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said that she’ll continue to prioritize legislation in Congress to build on these efforts.

“Outdoor recreation continues to be an important part of the American experience, and that’s why I introduced the Outdoor Rec Act in 2016,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). “It plays a major role in the Northern Virginia economy by contributing over $1 billion annually and provides critical jobs to the region.”

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) said that outdoor recreation is one of the largest industries in his state. “Washington state is the proud home of stunning mountains, beaches, lakes and rivers, drawing visitors from around the world for our hiking, skiing, fishing, climbing and many more outdoor opportunities these lands offer. I am proud to see this report that my colleagues and I successfully authorized in 2016 come to fruition and show what many of us already knew: how important this industry is to our country.”

OIA and its membership worked with various senators and representatives to move this bill and secure funding to launch the study. They’re now looking to Congress to continue to provide annual funding for this report and produce regional data as well.