Outdoor Recreation Brings Opportunity for Brands and Businesses

Whether you’re a seasoned pro in the outdoor industry or exploring the idea of creating an outdoor recreation brand or business, you couldn’t pick a better industry. The Outdoor Industry Association has reported that outdoor recreation is a driving force in the economy, bringing jobs, consumer spending, and tax revenue to all parts of the US.

Outdoor Recreation is Driving America’s Economy

Outdoor recreation is among our nation's largest economic sectors, representing the lifeblood of thousands of American communities and providing livelihoods for millions of American workers.

Every year, American consumers spend more on outdoor recreation than they do on pharmaceuticals and fuel, combined. In fact, the impact of outdoor recreation on America's economy is almost as big as that of hospital care.

The outdoor economy directly supports 7.6 billion US jobs and generates $125 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.

Consumers spend $887 billion on outdoor recreation products including gear, apparel, footwear, equipment, services and outdoor recreation vehicles. Consumer spending on outdoor recreation also includes trip and travel spending, such as airfare, fuel, lodging, lift tickets, guides, lessons, and more.

Annual consumer spending on outdoor recreation outpaces consumer spending on motor vehicles and is nearly double consumer spending on pharmaceuticals.

Outdoor Rec is America’s Favorite Past Time

Each year, Americans spend more on trail sports gear than home entertainment; more on water sports gear than movie tickets; more on cycling and skateboarding than video games. And more Americans participate in outdoor recreation activities each year than attend NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL games combined.

The outdoor industry is thriving and growing. Outdoor recreation is embraced by a majority of Americans in one form or another. The growing outdoor industry brings more jobs and communities that invest in outdoor recreation thrive economically and socially.

How to Get Started in the Outdoor Industry

If you have a passion for outdoor recreation and have been dreaming of getting involved in the outdoor industry, there are many ways you can get involved:

  • Retail and rental shop: Start a retail and rental shops, like ski and bike shop, in a community that prioritizes outdoor recreation.
  • Lessons and guides: Start a guide or lesson business and teach people the outdoor skills you’ve already mastered.
  • Equipment repairs: Outdoor equipment needs to be maintained. Partner with a retailer or rental shop that doesn’t offer repairs and reach a broader audience.
  • Apparel and footwear retailer: Online or brick and mortar, start a business that offers the right gear for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Adventure tourism: take people out on the adventure of a lifetime.

Maybe you’ve got an idea to improve on the outdoor apparel/ gear that you already use. Maybe you’ve spent years passionate about mountain biking and can’t dream of doing anything other than teaching people the sport. Whatever your passion, starting a business in the outdoor industry is a great way to fuel your entrepreneurial spirit and pay homage to the outdoor recreation activities that you’re passionate about.

Recommended Reading

Want to know more about getting started in the outdoor industry? Then you won’t want to miss these:

7 Personality Traits You Need to Succeed in the Outdoor Industry
Sole Proprietor vs LLC: What Business Structure is Right for Your Bike Shop?
Location Red Flags When Choosing a Location for Your Ski Rental Shop
6 Unbeatable Benefits of Ski Shop Insurance




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