Outdoor recreation in Colorado accounted for $11.6B last year

Chris Woodward
The Center Square - Colorado
Andrew Mcleod gets a bit of assistance clicking into his skis during the afternoon session of the 11th Annual Anthem Winter Sports Fest hosted by the United States Association of Blind Athletes at Breckenridge on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

The outdoor recreation economy in Colorado accounted for $11.6 billion last year, according to recently-released federal data.

Nationally, outdoor recreation accounted for $454.0 billion, or 1.9% of the country’s gross domestic product, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said.

“Inflation-adjusted (“real”) GDP for the outdoor recreation economy increased 18.9% in 2021, compared with a 5.9% increase for the overall U.S. economy, reflecting a rebound in outdoor recreation after the decrease of 21.6% in 2020,” the agency said.

The Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association said in a news release that the bureau data is encouraging.

“These encouraging numbers showcase an industry that generates millions of jobs across the country and contributes billions to the total economy every year – $173 billion more than last year,” said Kent Ebersole, OIA’s interim executive director. “This show of economic strength is coupled with data OIA released this fall revealing the highest ever recorded number of new and returning participants in outdoor recreation.”


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