The state of Wisconsin now has an Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC). Funding for the new OREC office, to be located in the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, was included in the state budget that was signed on July 3 by Governor Tony Evers. This adds Wisconsin to the growing swath of states across the nation that have established OREC offices responsible for helping to grow the outdoor recreation economy.
The RV Industry Association, along with other members of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, have called for governors in all 50 states to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation. As of June, there have been four states across the U.S. (California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey) who are actively pursuing the creation of OREC Offices through their state legislatures in their current sessions.
In 2018, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported for the first time that outdoor recreation represents 2.2 percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP) and contributes $734 billion annually to the U.S. economy. During the period of 2012 to 2016, outdoor recreation grew faster than the U.S. economy overall. And in Wisconsin, the RV industry has an economic impact of $2.1 billion and supports more than 12,308 jobs and $551.6 million in wages paid to Wisconsinites.
RVIA applauds the commitment Wisconsin is making to support the continued growth of the outdoor recreation economy by creating an OREC office and hopes to foster close working relationships with this office as it develops.