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Outdoor recreation contributed over $1 trillion to U.S. economic output last year

Nov 20, 2023
Newly released data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis also found the industry made outsized contributions to the economies of states like Wyoming, Alaska, Florida and Vermont.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis found that outdoor recreation now now makes up 2.2% of the U.S. GDP.
George Frey/Getty Images

Cyclists and hikers bring life back to an old gold mining town in Wyoming

Sep 18, 2023
A growing number of adventurers are traveling the Continental Divide each summer, bringing a much-needed boost to one community.
Cyclists sit at the wooden bar in the Atlantic City Mercantile. It is an old saloon that was originally built for gold miners, but now sees mostly hikers and cyclists.
Caitlin Tan/Wyoming Public Media

As Mississippi Riverfront development booms, wetlands become crucial to stave off flooding

Jun 20, 2023
Many cities along the Mississippi are redeveloping their riverfronts. But these projects are often threatened by flooding.
Mike Sertle, who manages wetlands restoration projects on the Mississippi River for Ducks Unlimited, motions how high the water can get in a roughly 250-acre restored wetland behind him in Southern Illinois on May 24.
Eric Schmid/St. Louis Public Radio

The way of water: Running a business on the banks of the Wisconsin River

Apr 17, 2023
As seasonal businesses focus on inflation and new hires for the summer, the shadow of a possible recession looms in the background.
"In general, people will continue to recreate even during a recession," said Scott Teuber of Wisconsin River Outings.
courtesy Scott Teuber

For hiking outfitter, this holiday season feels like a path untrodden

Dec 7, 2022
From dealing with surplus inventory to accommodating changing consumer habits, this Georgia retailer is trying to suss out the future.
Eric Champlin (left) and husband Rob Sollie at their shop in Hiawassee, Georgia. "Consumer buying patterns are definitely shifting," Champlin says.
Courtesy Champlin

Wyoming hopes recreational trail improvements will spur tourism

Sep 20, 2022
Updating old cattle trails, logging roads and wildlife migration trails could provide a crucial boost to local economies, some say.
Ryan Grove of Sublette Trails Association fixes an old trail in the Wind River Range in northwest Wyoming.
Caitlin Tan/Wyoming Public Media

As more people seek recreation outdoors, backcountry rescues are on the rise

Jan 26, 2022
Many volunteer rescue groups had an increase in calls last year.
Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Unit volunteers extract a person portraying a lost snowshoer during a training exercise.
Madelyn Beck/Mountain West News

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Why did the outdoor economy suffer in 2020 when more of us were outside?

Nov 11, 2021
Lockdowns, public lands closures, supply chain disruptions and travel restrictions took a toll. But many outdoor retailers still had a great year.
More Americans got out and about biking, fishing and hiking amid COVID-19 in 2020. Above, a bike shop owner repairs a tire in Brooklyn.
Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

Bike prices still riding high due to supply chain backups

Apr 13, 2021
Bikes and parts could cost 15% to 25% more — if there's even inventory to sell, that is.
Some cyclists are resorting to fixing up their old bikes, but shipping backups and COVID restrictions at ports mean shop owners can't get parts either.
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

2019 was a good year for the outdoor economy. What about 2020?

Nov 13, 2020
Businesses that sell outdoor gear, from bikes to kayaks, have been doing well in the pandemic, but other parts of the outdoor recreation economy have struggled.
Kayakers paddle their way along Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, in May. The outdoor economy made up just over 2% of GDP in 2019.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images