Mon Feb 26, 2018
The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable has called for governors in all 50 states to establish an Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) and reaffirmed its commitment to working collaboratively with state leaders to advance outdoor recreation priorities across the country.
“OREC offices have proven to be exceptionally effective at encouraging greater use of the great outdoors,” says Derrick Crandall, ORR president. “Greater participation in outdoor recreation means a stronger economy—something each of the governors we honored last week fully understands. As the prime months for outdoor recreation are upon us, we encourage all governors to join their peers who are already experiencing the benefits of an OREC office in their state.”
ORR was formed earlier this month with the merger of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable—a coalition of America’s leading outdoor recreation trade associations, including the RV Industry Association and Dealers associations—and the American Recreation Coalition, an organization of recreation interests that has had a significant and positive impact on outdoor recreation for more than three decades.
ORR members met last week with several governors and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., and discussed the importance of the outdoor recreation industry to state economies. The discussions between ORR members and participating governors, including Govs. Matthew Mead (R-Wyo.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Gary Herbert (R-Utah) centered around the need for OREC offices in every state to facilitate greater public participation in outdoor recreation activities and generate stronger local economic activity.
OREC offices play a critical role in increasing outdoor recreation participation by working with local communities to improve infrastructure, coordinating recreation efforts statewide and promoting the benefits of engaging in outdoor recreation among the residents of their state. To date, OREC offices have been established in eight states: Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.
“It was an honor to welcome so many leaders who share in our enthusiasm for enhancing outdoor recreation in the United States,” says Frank Hugelmeyer, ORR vice chair and president of the RV Industry Association. “As the nation’s premier outdoor recreation coalition, ORR looks forward to working with the nation’s governors to develop OREC offices in all 50 states so that we can maximize the rapidly growing economic impact of our industry nationwide.”
Earlier this month, the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account of the Bureau of Economic Analysis – the government agency responsible for reporting U.S. GDP—calculated for the first time the outdoor recreation industry’s annual gross output: $673 billion, or 2 percent of GDP, which surpasses other sectors such as agriculture, petroleum and coal, and computer and electronic products. The report also showed the outdoor recreation industry’s GDP has increased an average of 4.4 percent since 2012, significantly greater than the 3.6 percent average increase in the overall U.S. GDP.