127 outdoor businesses sent a letter to House leadership today urging passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). GAOA, if passed, will stimulate the outdoor recreation industry and the thousands of small and large businesses that comprise the growing industry. GAOA would also create more safe and sustainable recreation access while improving infrastructure for all Americans. The 127 cross-sector companies — included, among others, Airstream, Bass Pro Shops, Brunswick, Cabela’s, Columbia Sportswear, Kampgrounds of America, Polaris Inc., Pure Fishing, The North Face, VF Corporation, Winnebago, Yamaha. All of them signed on in order to highlight that investments in conservation and recreation are needed to provide business certainty so the recreation industry can get back to what it does best — grow jobs, support healthy communities, economies and people, and provide more opportunities for everyone to benefit from time spent outside.
“Our entire industry continues to spearhead support for GAOA — from skiers to snowmobilers, hunters to hikers, campers to RVers and climbers to motorcyclists,” said Jessica (Wahl) Turner, executive director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “Businesses have been making calls, running sign-on campaigns and sending letters. This unity in our business community showcases the incredible things we can accomplish when we work together. The House of Representatives has the opportunity to do something that truly outlasts their time in office and that will benefit the nation for decades to come by passing this once-in-a-generation legislation.”
As a reminder, GAOA would provide a critical boost to what was, before the pandemic, a $778 billion a year industry supporting 5.2 million jobs and accounting for 2.2% of United States Gross Domestic Product. According to Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s member survey and dashboard of the sector, 94 percent of outdoor industry businesses have experienced a decrease in sales and 88 percent have laid off or furloughed a portion of their workforce. The entire outdoor recreation business community urges the House to pass GAOA before the August recess to revitalize this critical sector of the economy and provide more outdoor opportunities for all Americans when they are needed most.