Recreation continues to play an important and growing role in Wyoming’s economy, according to a report released July 26 by the Outdoor Industry Association, a trade organization.
Outdoor recreation generates $5.6 billion in annual consumer spending in the state, according to Southwick Associates, the market-research firm that conducted the study. That’s up more than $1 billion from four years ago. Recreation generates $1.6 billion in wages and salaries, compared to $1.4 billion four years ago, and $514 million in state and local tax revenue, up from $300 million the last time the organization released a similar report.
This story by Kelsey Dayton originally appeared on WyoFile.
The study also showed recreation provides about 50,000 jobs in Wyoming, employing about 8.5 percent of the state’s population.
Only Alaska has a higher percentage of people working in the outdoor industry, according to Outside magazine. The reported 73 percent of people in Wyoming who participate in outdoor recreation each year puts the state fourth highest in the ranking of resident recreation enthusiasts.
The numbers are important even if they confirm what most people know, said Jeff Smith, an outfitter from Sundance and president of the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association.
The organization hired Southwick Associates, the same company that conducted the Outdoor Industry Association’s research, to do a survey investigating the economic impact of big game hunting in the state.
The study, completed in the winter, showed big game hunting contributed more than $28 million to local and state taxes, supported more than 3,000 jobs and brought more than $224 million into the state – just in retail sales in 2015.