Report: Colorado consumers spend $28 billion annually on outdoor recreation

BOULDER — Outdoor recreation generates $28 billion in consumer spending annually in Colorado, according to a report from the Outdoor Industry Association.

The Outdoor Recreation Economy State Report shows that outdoor recreation provides 229,000 jobs and $10 billion in wages and salaries. Outdoor rec also contributes $2 billion in state and local tax revenue.

“Colorado has a lot going for it in terms of outdoor recreation access and economics — people choose to live in Colorado because of the healthy, fun lifestyle that exists here, and the businesses that thrive here, rightly take advantage of the strong employee base that loves to get outdoors,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA, in a prepared statement. “It is no coincidence that growth in Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy has coincided with Colorado continuing to be ranked as a leader in the nation in overall economic growth, the growth of new businesses and as a healthy population overall.”

More than 71 percent of the state’s 5.7 million residents participate in outdoor activities each year.

Moving forward, the OIA requests that policymakers use the economic impact of outdoor rec to adequately fund state and local parks and trails, as well as raise awareness of public lands and the outdoor economy.