Colorado’s outdoor recreation accounts for 2.8% of state’s GDP



(The Center Square) – Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.8% of the state’s gross domestic product, according to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Colorado had $13.9 billion in total outdoor recreation value added last year, according to the report. The industry employed 129,773 people, or 4.3% of the state’s employment. Colorado’s total outdoor recreation compensation was $6.9 billion.

The research broke down Colorado’s outdoor industry into specific activities for 2022:

conventional outdoor recreation activities, $4.8 billion;boating and fishing, $546 million;recreational vehicle traveling, $743 million;snow activities, $1.4 billion;other outdoor recreation activities, $2.3 billion;amusement and water parks, $216 million;festivals, sporting events and concerts, $362 million;games, including golf and tennis, $499 million;all other supporting outdoor recreation, $6.1 billion;government expenditures, $594 million.

Colorado’s snow activities were the largest in the nation, followed by California ($688 million) and Utah ($601 million). Snow activities totaled $7 billion nationally.

Hawaii’s outdoor recreation economy accounted for 5.6% of its GDP, the highest of the 50 states. It was followed by Vermont (4.6%), Montana (4.3%), Wyoming (4.1%), Maine (3.9%) and Florida (3.6%). The state with the lowest percentage was Connecticut at 1.4% and the District of Columbia was 0.9% of GDP.

Nationally, the outdoor recreation industry accounted for 2.2% of GDP or $563.7 billion in 2022. All 50 states had increases in outdoor recreation employment in 2022, ranging from 18.5% in Hawaii to 1.1% in Kansas. Colorado’s outdoor recreation employment grew 9.2%.

“Inflation-adjusted (‘real’) GDP for the outdoor recreation economy increased 4.8% in 2022, compared with a 1.9% increase for the overall U.S. economy, reflecting a deceleration from the increase in outdoor recreation of 22.7% in 2021,” the report stated. “Real gross output for the outdoor recreation economy increased 7.5%, while outdoor recreation compensation increased 9.1% and employment increased 7.4%.”

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