The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Wed Jul 19, 2017
Washington, D.C – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and other senior federal officials met with representatives of the outdoor recreation industry at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) July 18 to discuss how the use of public-private partnerships can help improve visitor experiences on America’s public lands and waters.
“One of my top priorities is to expand recreational access to public lands and waters. Today I'm excited to announce that, for the first time, the Department of the Interior will host a recreation advisory committee dedicated to looking at public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving the infrastructure on public lands,” Secretary Zinke says. “We already have thousands of private partners who operate on federal lands. Whether it's the iconic Jammers in Glacier National Park, the historic El Tovar Lodge at the Grand Canyon, or the kayaks that you can rent on the Potomac River, American workers are at the heart of helping American families experience our great outdoors.”
Thom Dammrich, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association and a leader of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) began the meeting by introducing nearly 30 opportunities for immediate private investment on public lands totaling more than $80 million
Dammrich says that these are “just the first wave of thousands more opportunities that will emerge over the next few months.”
National Park Hospitality Association (NPHA) President Terry MacRae outlined 19 proposed projects in national parks alone. These projects will help improve visitor experiences by modernizing accommodations, expanding connectivity, improving campgrounds, adding new services and more.
“A record number of Americans are buying RVs, nearly all of whom plan to use the RVs to go camping,” says Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the RV Industry Association and Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) member. “What outdoor recreation leaders presented to Secretary Zinke today are specific ways the National Park Service can take a commonsense, multi-agency approach to modernize our recreation infrastructure and better serve the diverse and rapidly growing pool of visitors.”
Among the proposals presented to Secretary Zinke are specific opportunities for public-private partnerships to be used to modernize federal lands for RVers. These include expanding a pilot program that increases access to broadband service on the National Park Service’s (NPS) developed front country. The pilot program has been successful at Lake Mead National Recreation Area using a concessioner with a proven, no-cost-to-government strategy that has been utilized at Department of Defense facilities nationwide. Two other proposals would improve the campgrounds on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park and in Big Bend National Park. In both cases, public-private partnerships would allow for a private concessionaire to invest in electrical hookups for RVs in 30 to 40 percent of the spaces in each campground. Through these partnerships, NPS would substantially reduce its operating expenses and receive substantially more franchise fee revenue.
"Ensuring public access to DOI lands and waters is critical for the RV industry, especially during a time of strong sales and record usage," RV Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia says. "This event helps demonstrate to public land agency leaders within the department that their decisions can impact thousands of people who build, support, and sell RV products."
The outdoor-recreation industry reportedly generates $887 billion in direct spending and supports 7.6 million jobs across all 50 states. Secretary Zinke, representatives of the ORIR, key national park concessioners and members of Congress discussed how improving infrastructure, encouraging innovation, and developing new and enhanced public-private partnerships will give the American people more opportunities to enjoy healthy, active fun on their public lands and waters, while helping outdoor recreation continue to grow as a powerful and positive economic force in America.
Following the meeting, Secretary Zinke led the group to Simón Bolivar Park and a showcase of American-made outdoor recreation products as part of “Made in America Week.” There are more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs provided by the recreation industry – producing boats, RVs, off-road vehicles, outdoor equipment and more.
ORIR, NPHA and experienced partners across the country pledged to collaborate with the Department of the Interior and other federal land management agencies. They offered innovative solutions and expanded partnerships to advance a shared vision of increasing access to modern recreational opportunities and enjoyable experiences for all visitors to federal lands.