Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) applauded the announcement of Connecticut’s new Office of Outdoor Industry and Experiences, created today through executive order by Governor Ned Lamont at an event at Mohawk Mountain. This announcement marks the 21st State Office of Outdoor Recreation created across the United States. Outdoor recreation generates $4.6 billion for the Nutmeg State’s economy, is 1.4% of its GDP, and creates 45,776 jobs, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The new office is located in Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and will work to partner with the private sector to grow outdoor recreation opportunities and tourism in Connecticut. The state also announced the Partnership in Parks initiative, which will invite the private sector to submit concepts for outdoor recreation business opportunities in state parks that can help elevate the outdoor recreation and visitor experience in State Parks, expand tourism destinations, and provide equitable and sustainable access to the outdoors. Businesses, nonprofits, and other interested stakeholders can respond to the Request for Information available at https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP-parks-partnerships.
“The new year is starting off on the right track with Connecticut’s new Office of Outdoor Industry and Experiences, which joins 20 other states in committing to supporting the outdoor recreation economy and its connection to public health, quality of life, and economic competitiveness,” said Jessica Turner, President, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “We look forward to supporting the office in growing the outdoor recreation economy in the state, connecting rural communities to economic development opportunities, and increasing access for all residents and visitors, especially those from backgrounds underrepresented in the outdoors.”