June 12, 2012--Outdoor recreation tied to $256 billion in spending, 2.3 million jobs (Denver Post)

Outdoor recreation stirs $256 billion in spending and anchors 2.3 million jobs in the Western U.S., according to a sweeping new study by Boulder's Outdoor Industry Association and the Western Governors' Association. The governors association and several outdoor-industry groups released the study this week, revealing that outdoor recreation is "an overlooked economic giant." Nationwide, the industry accounted for $646 billion in national sales and services in 2011. ombining motorized and nonmotorized recreation for the first time, the study gauged the impacts of trail sports, biking, camping, snow sports, water sports, fishing, hunting, wildlife-watching, motorcycle riding and off-roading. The study showed outdoor recreation delivering $110.3 billion in salaries and business income. And spending on outdoor recreation in the Western U.S. generated $15.41 billion in federal tax revenue and $15.38 billion in local and state tax receipts in 2011. "This study confirms the significant contribution the outdoor recreation industry makes to the American economy and way of life," said Sally Jewell, chief executive of REI and a board member with the Outdoor Industry Association.

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