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Record-Breaking Numbers: Outdoor recreation a whopping $862B industry according to new government data

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has released economic data for 2021 exhibiting outdoor recreation’s powerful and positive economic impact on the U.S. economy. These new numbers show outdoor recreation generates $862 billion in economic output and 4.5 million jobs. This means the outdoor recreation economy contributes more to the U.S. economy than oil and gas extraction, mining, and agriculture. The report includes national and state level data.

This is the fifth consecutive year that BEA has released government data on this critical industry sector. Today’s release shows how the outdoor industry, which played a vital economic and social role throughout the pandemic, has since sustained remarkable growth, and continued to bolster local economies. The outdoor recreation economy came back stronger than ever after the COVID-19 pandemic and remains a steady source of strength nationally and a booming job creator locally.

Key highlights from the 2021 data on the outdoor recreation economy:

  • $862 billion in economic output;
  • 1.9% of GDP;
  • 4.5 million jobs;
  • Trips and travel coming back, record sales in many outdoor segments, manufacturing increasing, as well as the drive to continue to recreate for quality of life allowed our industry to bounce back from the effects of COVID-19 in 2020.

“The BEA data underscores how important it is to invest in public lands, waters and recreation infrastructure from coast to coast and for recreation activities of all types,” said Jessica Turner, president of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “From the creation of jobs and increased profit for small businesses in local economies, to larger boons to our national economy, this sector is a consistent driver, even in times of economic uncertainty. The strength of the outdoor recreation economy reflects what many in the industry have long known to be true: there are infinite benefits that come from more people spending time outdoors, and they’ll only grow with continued investment.”

“We have seen record growth in camping and boating over the past couple years, with millions of people enjoying RVs and boats to connect with family and friends, to relax and recharge, and to experience nature,” said Michael Happe, President and CEO of Winnebago Industries. “The record economic impact in the BEA numbers demonstrates the collective power of our industry to help people discover and experience the tremendous benefits of the outdoor lifestyle. We continue to welcome an increasingly diverse group of new participants, so we look forward to maintaining this momentum by developing recreation infrastructure and increasing access for all.”

“The latest BEA numbers are a testament to the power of outdoor recreation, and we are thrilled to see our industry’s economic impact grow,” said Chris Metz, CEO of Vista Outdoor Inc., the parent company of 41 outdoor and sporting product brands. “This data shows that people continued to venture into the outdoors for health, wellness and adventure in record numbers last year as businesses across the industry worked to expand participation and bring more people into the outdoors. The goal now: Build on that momentum. We will stay focused on increasing access to public lands, building more recreation infrastructure and growing participation across all outdoor activities.”

“This data solidifies what we have seen over our sixty-year history – that there is intrinsic value in the outdoors,” said Toby O’Rourke, President and CEO of Kampgrounds of America, Inc. “Over 20 million new households started camping since 2020 with six in ten planning to continue. We are increasingly seeing camping and the outdoors vacation becoming a preferred form of travel. The economic impact of camping and the greater outdoor industry underscores how critical natural spaces are to our communities.  And, even more importantly, the outdoors remain vital for overall health and well-being and in fostering connection to others.”

“The continued strength of the outdoor economy is no surprise to the marine industry, where we continue to see incredible growth with new and younger customers taking to our brands each year,” said Chris Drees, President of Mercury Marine, the world’s leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines. “We will continue to work closely with our partners in the outdoor recreational community to promote the benefits of being on the water.”

“Last year proved to be a year like no other for the outdoor recreation industry, and today’s Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account data release underscores the fact that boating and time spent on our nation’s waterways is a favorite American pastime,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and current Board Chair of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “Since 2020, the recreational boating and fishing industry and outdoor recreation economy at-large has led a national recovery, welcoming millions of families to experience the considerable health benefits of the great outdoors while being a vital economic contributor and job creator.” 

“The outdoor recreation economy nearing $1 trillion in economic value is impressive yet unsurprising. With roughly 50 million anglers across the United States, recreational fishing is an important aspect of outdoor recreation, and we are proud to be part of an industry that is both growing in popularity and value,” said Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association. “The BEA data reflects how important it is for Americans to continue to have access to clean waters and abundant fisheries, and we are honored to play an important role in growing our nation’s economy. ASA looks forward to increasing participation rates alongside the rest of the outdoor recreation industry and getting more Americans outside or on the water.”

“The RV industry has seen a record number of younger and more diverse customers flock to RVs as a way to fulfil their desire to get outdoors, take part in all kinds of outdoor recreation, and live an active outdoor lifestyle. RVs provide a basecamp for every form of recreation included in these new economic numbers, from boating and fishing to hiking, biking, and climbing,” said Craig Kirby, President and CEO of the RV Industry Association. “What these new numbers show is that outdoor recreation is not just good for people’s physical and mental health, it is also a significant economic driver across the entire country.”

“To those of us in the powersports industry, these are not surprising numbers. We’ve seen outdoor recreation giving a real boost to America’s economy during the pandemic as more people throw a leg over a motorcycle or ATV, or get behind the wheel of a side-by-side to enjoy family time in the beautiful outdoors,” said Erik Pritchard, President and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “The BEA data confirms that communities large and small, from all corners of America, benefit from outdoor recreation. We’re proud to be part of the responsible recreators who are generating nearly a trillion dollars in economic value across the country.”

To see what the recreation community is saying, click here.

America’s outdoor recreation community, represented by ORR, continues to support the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) – the project compiling and releasing this data. Just like is the case for many other industries, the goal is to provide annual data on the economic importance of national and regional outdoor recreation economies that can be tracked for years to come. To learn more about ORR and outdoor recreation’s contributions to the economy, click here.

What They’re Saying – Outdoor Recreation Leaders on New BEA Data

“This new BEA data just reaffirms what our camping consumer data has shown for the past two years—camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors together and makes an incredible economic impact on local communities and the US as a whole,” said Paul Bambei, President and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. “Our research shows that each family of four spends an average of $200 per day in local communities on campsites, fuel, food and entertainment. Camping is often the catalyst for other outdoor recreation activities that further boost the economy.” 

“Last year proved to be a year like no other for the outdoor recreation industry, and today’s Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account data release underscores the fact that boating and time spent on our nation’s waterways is a favorite American pastime,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and current Board Chair of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “Since 2020, the recreational boating and fishing industry and outdoor recreation economy at-large has led a national recovery, welcoming millions of families to experience the considerable health benefits of the great outdoors while being a vital economic contributor and job creator.”

“The outdoor recreation economy nearing $1 trillion in economic value is impressive yet unsurprising. With roughly 50 million anglers across the United States, recreational fishing is an important aspect of outdoor recreation, and we are proud to be part of an industry that is both growing in popularity and value,” said Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association. “The BEA data reflects how important it is for Americans to continue to have access to clean waters and abundant fisheries, and we are honored to play an important role in growing our nation’s economy. ASA looks forward to increasing participation rates alongside the rest of the outdoor recreation industry and getting more Americans outside or on the water.”

“The RV industry has seen a record number of younger and more diverse customers flock to RVs as a way to fulfil their desire to get outdoors, take part in all kinds of outdoor recreation, and live an active outdoor lifestyle. RVs provide a basecamp for every form of recreation included in these new economic numbers, from boating and fishing to hiking, biking, and climbing,” said Craig Kirby, President and CEO of the RV Industry Association. “What these new numbers show is that outdoor recreation is not just good for people’s physical and mental health, it is also a significant economic driver across the entire country.” 

“The BEA data underscores that outdoor recreation is vital to the economic well-being of our state,” said Jenny Kordick, Executive Director of Maine Outdoor Brands. “The world class outdoor recreation opportunities in Maine are a powerful lure for residents and visitors alike and support a booming outdoor industry. With continued investment, the outdoor sector can drive an environmentally responsible economy, one that offers good-paying jobs and an unmatched quality of life.”

“Our members, which include more than 600 outdoor media across the country, saw an explosion of interest in outdoor activities over the past few years – including expanded coverage by mass media in outdoor recreation,” said Katie McKalip, President of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. “It’s been excellent to be able to reach even more people to inspire them to get outdoors – and ultimately help conserve our precious outdoor spaces.” 

“To those of us in the powersports industry, these are not surprising numbers. We’ve seen outdoor recreation giving a real boost to America’s economy during the pandemic as more people throw a leg over a motorcycle or ATV, or get behind the wheel of a side-by-side to enjoy family time in the beautiful outdoors,” said Erik Pritchard, President and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “The BEA data confirms that communities large and small, from all corners of America, benefit from outdoor recreation. We’re proud to be part of the responsible recreators who are generating nearly a trillion dollars in economic value across the country.”

“The enormous contribution the outdoor recreation industry makes to our national economy continues to be the epitome of a win-win situation given the additional benefits the public gets from being in and enjoying the great outdoors,” said Marily Reese, Executive Director of the National Forest Recreation Association. “NFRA members, who work as partners with our federal land agencies, are privileged and proud to be a part of an industry that brings so much value and joy to people.”

“These economic numbers show the benefits for the economy, and with a growing workforce of outdoor facilitators, the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) is making a positive and direct impact on users,” said Jeannette Stawski, Executive Director of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education. “AORE members are outdoor facilitators of 340+ unique organizations in 45 states and 8 countries where member collective programming introduces over 1 million participants annually to outdoor recreation and education. Helping people get more people outside is a winning strategy for all!”

“The new numbers from the BEA are very exciting, and emphasize the important economic value of outdoor access to our public lands and waters,” said Lesley Kane-Syznal, Co-Chair of the LWCF Coalition. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a critical tool to protect and grow outdoor access to many amazing places – from our oldest National Parks to local greenspaces in underserved communities. As we experience record visitation at many parks and public lands, LWCF is essential to improve the visitor experience by providing new and expanded access for all. The LWCF Coalition is committed to increasing LWCF funding to ensure more public lands and waters can sustainably support the growing outdoor industry and the local economies it bolsters.” 

Confluence of States Leaders Gather in Nevada, Elect New Leadership from Michigan and Maine

Incline Village, Nevada – State-level outdoor recreation leaders representing the Confluence of States gathered at the Outdoor Media Summit alongside industry partners to elect organization leadership, discuss key issues affecting the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy, and strategize about the continued advancement of the outdoor economy through their engagement with the Outdoor Recreation Industry Confluence of States Accords.

Brad Garmon, Executive Director of the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, was elected Chair of the Confluence of States Coalition for 2023. Carolann Ouellette, Director of the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation, was elected to serve as Vice-Chair.

“The outdoor recreation economy is a powerful, unifying force for better health, good jobs, and community-based investment all across the country,” said Brad Garmon, Executive Director of the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “I’m honored to work with leaders in the Confluence of States and with our outdoor industry partners over the next year to develop and refine the range of programs and tools that our states use to enable more outdoor businesses to prosper and empower more families and communities to discover, love and support our nation’s rich endowment of parks, trails, lands and waters.”

16 states are currently members of the Confluence of States, having committed to supporting the outdoor recreation economy on behalf of their respective governors. Since the formation of the Confluence of States in 2018, the Chair position of the organization has been held by the leaders in Colorado, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, and mostly recently Nevada. Additional members include Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming.

Working alongside outdoor recreation industry leaders, the Confluence of States member states are guided by four pillars of outdoor economy success:

  • Conservation and Stewardship
  • Education and Workforce Training
  • Economic Development
  • Public Health and Wellness

The leadership positions moving to states in the Great Lakes region and on the East Coast highlight the growing awareness and relevance of the outdoor recreation economy as it exists in states differently across the country. (The full list of Confluence member states can be found at: https://www.confluenceofstates.com/our-team )

“The Accords are both a guide and an open invitation to every state in the nation,” said Colin Robertson, Administrator of the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation, and the outgoing chair of the group. “As state directors, we have worked together over the last year – and even more deeply over these last few days here on the shores of Lake Tahoe – to ensure that the outdoor recreation economy is understood and supported in both urban and rural communities, and in a way that’s relevant to people from all walks of life in every corner of the country.”

U.S. federal data show that the outdoor recreation economy accounted for $689 billion of economic output for the nation in 2020, representing 1.8% of U.S. GDP and 4.3 million jobs (3% of all employment in the United States).

“The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is delighted to see Brad Garmon and Carolann Ouellette assume leadership of the Confluence of States,” said Chris Perkins, Senior Director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, a coalition of made up of 36 outdoor recreation trade associations — as well as other nonprofit organizations and business entities — serving more than 110,000 businesses. “These state leaders are uniquely positioned to advance the benefits of outdoor recreation, from business recruitment and retention, increased visitation, and economic activity, improved public health and wellness benefits, equitable access for communities who have been underserved in outdoor assets in the past, and climate mitigation and adaptation benefits that come from healthy green and blue infrastructure. We look forward to working with the new Confluence of States leadership in the days ahead to continue welcoming more people and business to the outdoors and expanding the positive impacts of this industry for people and communities.”

The Confluence of States is a nonpartisan organization developing a national platform to grow the outdoor recreation industry, protect our nation’s wild places and transform conservation into a driver for economic prosperity.

###

Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Brad Garmon

garmonb1@michigan.org

(517) 282-2663

Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation

Colin Robertson

crobertson@ndor.nv.gov

(775) 684-2716

Together Outdoors Marks One Year of Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Outdoor Recreation

Coalition begins its second year emboldened with over 100 members and launching new initiatives to create a more accessible and welcoming outdoors

Together Outdoors (TO), a coalition committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the outdoor recreation experience, commemorated its first anniversary with a look back at a year of progress, and a look ahead at new efforts to make the outdoors more accessible and welcoming for everyone. 

More than 100 organizations joined TO in its first year, with an initial focus on educating coalition members on the history of exclusionary practices in the outdoors and the challenges that remain for members of under-represented groups who seek to enjoy America’s outdoor spaces. TO’s debut learning tool was an eight-module online training program for outdoor companies, nonprofits, and land management agencies. Topics included insights into, and best practices for, hiring and retaining a diverse workforce, implementing DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) at all levels of the organization, and improving accessibility for the disabled.   

“Together Outdoors was born as the result of outdoor industry leaders asking how they could help provide education and drive desperately needed change. TO’s first year was one of reflection, strategic planning and learning,” said Coalition Lead Gerry Seavo James. “With the support of our funders, member organizations, Governance Council, and Advisory Council, we have built a solid foundation and developed effective programs to help make the great outdoors great for everyone.  We are proud of everything Together Outdoors has accomplished in its first year and are excited for what’s to come.”  Read more of Gerry’s reflections on TO’s first year here. 

Together Outdoors’ new efforts build upon 12 months of work made possible by foundational and multi-year support from THOR Industries and the guidance of our Advisory Council and Governance Councils.

TO’s next phase is focused on helping members put what they’ve learned into practice, as well as launching more tools and programs to support its vital mission and to provide ways for the general public to become involved with the coalition’s efforts. 

Together Outdoors’ new initiatives include:

Resource Hub Beta Launch – This innovative online database provides a wealth of curated information about building an outdoor community where everyone belongs. These materials include books, articles, research papers, videos, podcasts, and toolkits. Additionally, the hub includes a directory of inclusion-related outdoor organizations, a grant opportunity directory, and the ability to host web-based training programs. The platform will be launched as a Beta with user feedback providing the basis for upgrades and improvements.

Inclusive Spaces Program  Together Outdoors, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, is piloting a program to help recreation space operators and public land management agencies improve accessibility and inclusion in their spaces. Findings from the pilot program, conducted in the Chattanooga, TN region, will be used to develop best practices in every area of outdoor space operation, including the design of physical facilities, staff trainings, storytelling, and language used in printed materials and signage. 

Branding and Merchandise – Together Outdoors is pleased to unveil its new logo, which visually conveys the coalition’s message of accessibility and inclusion. The new online store offers logoed clothing that allows people to show their support for TO and a more accessible and welcoming outdoors for all people.

Grant Program – TO recently debuted a grant program designed to support organizations on the front lines of building a more accessible and welcoming outdoor ecosystem thanks to support from THOR Industries and Winnebago Industries. To help offset the history of exclusion of marginalized communities in the grant-making process, TO’s criteria will give priority to individuals from those communities, as well as organizations run by members of those groups. 

See more commentary and reflection from coalition members and partners below and here. 

“The first year of Together Outdoors was an impactful bringing together of many insightful voices throughout the outdoor landscape,” said Danica Carey, Seirus Innovation, Director of Marketing Operations. “Now moving into their second year, I am very hopeful that the strong leadership of Gerry James supported by the team at ORR will be able to continue to grow this network of resources and collaboration. There is great foundation here for the community building needed to bring forward the cultural shift that is crucial for all of us to thrive into the future.”  

“We are proud to serve on the Together Outdoors Governance Council, which has allowed Brunswick Corporation a distinct opportunity to work collaboratively with our peers across the outdoor industry to promote our shared goals of ensuring equitable access to our public lands and waters,” said Lee Gordon, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Brunswick Corporation. 
“Together Outdoors’ mission to celebrate and share the joys and experiences found in the great outdoors with communities from different walks of life, experiences, and backgrounds is just the first step toward creating a more inclusive and welcoming outdoor recreation space,” said Kevin Williams, Vice President of Marketing at the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Together Outdoors Governance Council Member. “As we celebrate our one-year anniversary, this milestone marks the exciting next step in nurturing an environment where all are welcome and we look forward to continuing our partnerships with leaders across diverse spaces, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and historically marginalized people to create a better, more inclusive outdoor space.” 

“Together Outdoors has been a great resource for Polaris, as we focus on engaging with new diverse customer audiences and inviting them to participate in Powersports,” said Tommy Hillman, Senior Marketing Director at Polaris. “Together Outdoors has provided a forum that allows us to engage with other outdoor-focused organizations that are on a similar journey, where we can learn from each other’s experiences and discuss best practices.” 

ORR Applauds Biden Administration’s Assistance to Communities to Grow Outdoor Recreation Economies

Today, after the Biden Administration announced the 25 communities that will receive technical assistance under the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities program, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) lauded the announcement below. ORR supported the formation of this program and provided additional funding for five communities to implement their economic development strategies, helping to unlock millions of dollars in additional grant funding. ORR plans to continue working with the Biden Administration and Congress to build the program so it can serve all communities looking for support to establish and grow a thriving and sustainable outdoor recreation economy. Notably, in the two rounds of the program nearly 300 communities have applied for assistance, indicating widespread demand for outdoor recreation economic development. ORR’s Rural Economic Development Toolkit has also helped communities, like the ones awarded today, develop and grow authentic outdoor recreation plans and execute on those proposals.

“The Recreation Economy for Rural Communities program is exactly what rural America needs to harness the high demand for outdoor recreation and develop sustainable economies that benefit locals and visitors alike,” said Jessica Turner, President, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “The $689 billion outdoor recreation economy benefits greatly from continued government investment in programs like these that work on the ground and positively impact people, place and planet.”

Together Outdoors to Support “Front Line” DEI Orgs Through New Grant Program

Washington, D.C. (August 8, 2022) – The Together Outdoors (TO) Coalition, an initiative committed to advancing equity and inclusion in all aspects of the outdoor recreation experience, is excited to announce a new grant program designed to support organizations on the front lines of the effort to build a more accessible, welcoming outdoor ecosystem. This program, in addition to TO’s overall efforts is made possible thanks to foundational and multi-year support from THOR Industries, with support from Winnebago Industries for this grant opportunity.

“Funding from the initial pilot round of our grant program will go directly to frontline, grassroots leaders and organizations working to make the outdoors more accessible and welcoming,” said Gerry Seavo James, TO Coalition Lead. “This grant program epitomizes exactly what Together Outdoors was founded on doing – to help with incubating an environment where all people have access to welcoming outdoor recreation experiences, and we look forward to expanding this effort in the future.”

Grant Focus Areas:

Research + Resources – Monetary support for the development of effective research and resource tools concerning inclusion in the outdoors (i.e., toolkits, educational resources, audio and video resources, linguistic translations, etc.).

Activating Change Outdoors – Outdoor recreation-related programming, events and leadership development initiatives that benefit communities of color and intersecting minority groups.

“At THOR, our purpose is to inspire and empower everyone to Go Everywhere. Stay Anywhere. Our family of companies offer a comprehensive range of RVs and travel tools to help connect people with nature and with one another,” shared Bob Martin, THOR president and CEO. “In support of Together Outdoors’ mission to alleviate barriers to inclusion in the outdoors, THOR is honored to empower front-line organizations driven to cultivate the necessary change that will allow everyone to Go Everywhere and Stay Anywhere.”

This is TO’s inaugural grant program. The initial pilot round will offer $25,000 in funding focused on organizations with revenue under $100,000 that are led by, or serve a majority constituency of, communities of color and/or intersecting minority groups. Applications will be reviewed by Together Outdoors’ Advisory and Governance Council members and are due by September 5th, 2022 at 11:59 P.M EST. Awards will be disbursed by September 30th, 2022.

In the first year of the program, projects must take place in one of the following 27 states or territories to be eligible for the grant: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, West Virginia, & Virginia. Future rounds of this grant program will be open to applicants nationwide.

“At Winnebago Industries we help our customers explore the outdoor lifestyle, enabling extraordinary mobile experiences as they travel, live, work and play. We are excited to extend our support to grassroots organizations committed to removing barriers and creating inclusive outdoor spaces,” said Jil Littlejohn Bostick, Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Winnebago Industries.

Written or video submissions will be accepted. Information about the timeline, eligibility and where to submit applications can be found here. If you have any questions or problems, please contact us at togetheroutdoors@recreationroundtable.org.

ORR celebrates 2nd anniversary of GAOA, one of the most significant pieces of outdoor legislation in decades

While participating in a discussion with U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Randy Moore, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), the country’s leading outdoor recreation coalition, released the following statement on the second anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA).

“In the early stages of 2020 when the pandemic was raging, stores and business were shuttered, and many treasured outdoor locations closed to the public, it was hard to imagine we would pass one of the most significant pieces of outdoor legislation in decades,” said Jessica Turner, President of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “Fast forward two years and GAOA is already a huge success, permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund with at least $900 million each year and ensuring substantial resources for federal land and water management agencies to fix and maintain our parks, forests, trails, campgrounds, lakes, and rivers.

It is appropriate that on the second anniversary of GAOA we are speaking directly with Chief Moore about the future of recreation infrastructure, the renewal of the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation, rural economic development, and more. USFS has already worked with the outdoor recreation industry to help categorize projects so we can best understand GAOA’s impact, and the National Park Service is looking to do the same. The Bureau of Land Management has included connecting underserved communities to recreation as part of their prioritization process, something we recommended when the law was passed and several of our LWCF priority projects have already been funded.

While there are myriad outdoor projects yet to fund, update, or fix, we remain ecstatic about how far support for the outdoors and the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy has come. Since the GAOA was signed into law, many great projects have been approved for funding, including the Cave Run Lake Pavement Resurface project at the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky which allocates $6 million to improve recreational boating infrastructure at six different boat ramps, the Tuolumne Meadows Campground Rehabilitation project at Yosemite National Park which will utilize $26 million to improve drive-in campsites, horse camps, day use sites, and make accessibility improvements, and many more projects across the country.

We look forward to continuing to work with the agencies and our members to prioritize projects that will make outdoor experiences and access better for all Americans.”

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable applauds Biden Administration’s federal council to support outdoor recreation

Building on the work of past administrations, Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation to resume its coordinating role among federal land and water management agencies

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) praised today’s announcement by the Biden Administration on the revival of the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR). ORR president Jessica Turner will speak at the White House event later today with leaders from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Interior, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. ORR has been advocating for this convening body’s establishment since the beginning of the administration, meeting with the transition team, agency officials, and cabinet secretaries to discuss the importance of crossing silos and creating government efficiencies through this coordinated entity.

“Solidifying FICOR could not have come at a better time to support America’s public lands, waters, and $689 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said Jessica Turner, President of ORR. “It is critical that federal land and water management agencies work together to address important recreation issues around funding, overcrowding, and climate resiliency, as well as coordinate on the implementation of newly passed measures that will address the maintenance backlog, infrastructure priorities, and distribution of Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars. ORR and its members are ready to partner however we can on solving these challenges together, as well as collectively approaching the many opportunities that are ahead to help everyone access the outdoors and protect our natural resources.”

To help the public understand the significance of today’s announcement, ORR prepared an explainer document to provide context for the development of FICOR, its significance for outdoor recreation in the present moment, and opportunities and key topics it can address.

FICOR was originally developed under the Obama Administration in 2011 and provided a forum for federal agencies to coordinate recreation management, improve access, and provide a better recreation experience on federally managed lands and waters. FICOR will continue its work on coordination of management policies to provide the public numerous recreation opportunities and help traditionally underserved communities access public lands and waters and the benefits of getting outside. All of this will support one of America’s most productive industries and the jobs and health and social benefits that go with it.

ORR Member Quotes about Today’s Announcement:

“With the public’s interest in fishing and the outdoors remaining high, so is the need for sound management of our federal lands,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “On behalf of the nation’s $128 billion recreational fishing industry, we thank the Administration for solidifying FICOR and look forward to working with it to support improved coordination among federal land management agencies and ultimately improve access to the outdoors.”

“With multiple federal agencies responsible for our nation’s outdoor recreation sites, reviving FICOR to streamline and improve the management of our public lands and waters is a commonsense solution and we thank President Biden and his administration for taking this action,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and chairman of ORR. “As more Americans continue to gravitate toward outdoor recreation as their primary means of rest and relaxation, it is imperative for Congress to ensure this council’s vital work is not interrupted under future administrations by enshrining FICOR in law.”

“We are thrilled to see the Biden administration’s continued commitment to the 4.3 million Americans who make a living from the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said Lise Aangeenbrug, Executive Director of Outdoor Industry Association. “This is especially important today when efforts to revitalize outdoor infrastructure are at an inflection point. Establishing a system of clear communication between key leaders of land and water management agencies is imperative to advance this mutual goal. As more and more people are participating in outdoor recreation than ever before, and extreme weather events are taking their toll on many fragile outdoor infrastructure systems, it is imperative that federal agencies are able to properly coordinate and allocate the necessary investments to meet this challenge. We are hopeful Congress will swiftly pass the Outdoor Recreation Act package to ensure FICOR will become permanent law, guaranteeing its ability to sustain itself regardless of who controls the levers of power in Washington.”

“It is absolutely critical that good public policy is spawned from a close connection with impacted constituencies” said Dan Forster, vice president and chief conservation officer for the Archery Trade Association. “FICOR helps to ensure that vital recreational sectors like archery have a prominent voice in impactful discussion at the highest federal levels.”

“The revival of FICOR is critical to the $140 billion RV industry and the wider outdoor recreation economy, which has seen extraordinary growth as people prioritize their physical and mental wellbeing by getting outdoors,” said Craig Kirby, president and CEO of the RV Industry Association. “The increased popularity of RVing and all types of outdoor recreation means greater coordination is needed between federal land and water agencies to provide safe and enjoyable experiences on our national lands for generations to come. FICOR will provide this coordination and ensure recently passed legislation, such as the Great American Outdoors Act, is implemented in a way that will increase access and provide incredible experiences at campgrounds throughout our public lands.”

“Outdoor recreation not only boosts the American economy, it boosts Americans’ health, but many trails and public lands suffer from maintenance backlogs and infrastructure work delays. Reviving FICOR can help federal agencies work together to address these needs, improving and expanding recreational access to millions of Americans,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. “The powersports industry applauds the Biden administration’s commitment to helping more Americans enjoy the outdoors.”

“The recreational boating industry thanks the Biden administration for reviving FICOR and assuring that our nation’s Federal Resource Agencies are prioritizing outdoor recreation,” said Matt Gruhn, President of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. “FICOR brings together key decision makers who will guide the Federal Government as they support and develop America’s outdoor recreation economy. This focus comes at a crucial time as we work to retain all of the new outdoor recreation enthusiasts we gained during the pandemic, and that is an all hands on deck effort.”

“Maintaining our favorite places to recreate is a big task that requires partnerships and planning. Thank you to the Biden Administration for strengthening FICOR and helping elevate the importance of coordinated, collective efforts in the stewardship of our lands and waters,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, president and CEO of The Corps Network. “As the outdoor recreation economy expands, it is critical that we ensure our parks and forests are accessible, can accommodate growing crowds, and are resilient to the effects of climate change. The Service and Conservation Corps community stands ready to support the collaborative work to improve and maintain America’s natural treasures and outdoor recreation assets.”

“Even as the challenges to accessible outdoor recreation are growing, the need for Latinos to breathe fresh air and enjoy time outdoors is greater than ever,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation.Hispanic Access Foundation welcomes greater coordination between government agencies to address the barriers underserved communities face when recreating outdoors, such as the nature gap, overcrowding, and climate impacts on our treasured coasts and landscapes.”

“At CORE we work to research and build new and nationally accessible workforce development programs for the 5+ million jobs in the outdoor recreation economy,” said Lee Davis, executive director of Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy. “CORE applauds the administration’s revival of FICOR and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to coordinate with agency leadership to address the critical workforce and research needs of the outdoor recreation economy.”

“We are so pleased to see FICOR come together to help support the long tradition of Americans recreating on their public lands,” said Adam Cramer, CEO of Outdoor Alliance. “Outdoor recreation is important to the millions of Americans getting outside each year and is important for local economic development, especially for rural communities. FICOR will help land managers work together to think about how to improve access to the outdoors for all Americans, address crowding, and promote and enhance outdoor recreation across all different kinds of public land. FICOR will also help the agencies collaborate to address climate change, fund critical programs, and better communicate with visitors, which will benefit everyone who gets outside on public lands and waters. Outdoor Alliance and our partners look forward to working with the committee and the agencies to improve and expand outdoor recreation access.”

“Everyone has a stake in the state of the outdoors. Americans across the country increasingly seek time outside for their personal wellbeing and renewal, and for opportunities to connect to their families and communities,” said Taldi Harrison, head of government affairs for REI Co-op. “As such, outdoor recreation remains an essential force in the U.S. economy, generating $689 billion in economic output annually across rural and urban communities. REI Co-op welcomes the Administration’s robust efforts to coordinate across federal agencies and convene diverse stakeholders to support this growing economic sector and implement policies that advance more inclusive and equitable access to the outdoors, take real climate action, and meet ambitious conservation goals.”

“The #RecreateResponsibly movement has served to communicate important messages about the value of nature and outdoor recreation during a time of unprecedented uncertainty and record visitation to our treasured landscapes.” said Eugenie Bostrom, manager of the Recreate Responsibly Coalition. “Outdoor recreation is a catalyst for economic growth as well as an opportunity for healing for individuals and communities alike; the coalition has been vital to convening leaders in the outdoor recreation space in order to synthesize messaging and support collaboration since March of 2020, and we applaud the revitalization of FICOR as an important commitment from this administration to continue this collaborative and thoughtful approach.”

“Outdoor recreation is critical to America’s economy, environment, and health, which is why Access Fund is so thankful for the revitalization of the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation,” said Chris Winter, executive director of Access Fund. “Protecting America’s climbing and conserving public lands go hand in hand, and the revival of this council is an exciting opportunity to work with the president and federal land agencies to promote our vision for sustainable climbing. Access Fund will be there every step of the way to support the council’s work to make outdoor places more equitable and inclusive, to protect climbing on public lands, and to combat climate change and conserve public lands for future generations.”

“The American Mountain Guides Association is excited about the establishment of the Federal Interagency Council for Outdoor Recreation to assist with the implementation of the American the Beautiful Initiative and increase access for outdoor recreation, incentivize voluntary conservation, create jobs, and grow local economies – all of which are central to the work of the AMGA,” said Matt Wade, deputy director at the AMGA. “The collaborative power of FICOR will help to increase opportunities for the public to visit America’s public lands with an outfitter or guide, which will in turn build a life-long constituency that can help conserve, connect, and restore lands and waters across the nation that sustain the health of our communities and power local economies.”

“Today’s FICOR announcement will help build upon the work underrepresented communities have been doing for years to achieve better access and infrastructure to the outdoors,” said Gerry Seavo James, coalition lead at Together Outdoors. “A welcoming outdoor experience is not guaranteed. The establishment of FICOR will allow our public lands agencies to better align on areas to improve the outdoor experience for all Americans and foster convening spaces for DEI groups to share the challenges and opportunities we know can better be solved for when we all work together.”

ORR and its members continue to call on the House of Representative to pass the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act to codify the establishment of FICOR in law and avoid future administrations halting the work of this important council.

The Outdoors Drives Jobs: Career Paths in the Outdoor Recreation Economy

Growing Workforce is the Backbone of Thriving Industry

Today on a virtual webinar the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) released a new report on career opportunities in the $689 billion outdoor recreation sector, to help industry leaders, policymakers and prospective workers understand how these jobs provide outstanding quality of life, support conservation goals, strengthen local economies, and connect Americans to the great outdoors.

“The backbone of this thriving sector is a growing workforce that meets the dynamic needs of today’s fast-paced industry,” said Jessica Turner, President of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “Right now, there are so many high-quality jobs that exist across the outdoor recreation industry for professionals with a variety of skillsets that provide outstanding lifelong careers, and we want to highlight those opportunities in this report.”

The report was released in partnership with the Oregon State University Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy. “While professionals from across the country are carving out roles in this exciting industry that supports a conservation ethos and enables high quality of life, we also know that there is a growing skills gap in the outdoor workforce and that there are thousands of open jobs (for example, 31,000 in the marine industry alone) available for people seeking life-long and meaningful careers,” added Lee Davis, Executive Director of the Oregon State University Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE).

A few highlights from the report:

Deep and Diverse Jobs: The report illustrates the breadth, depth, and diversity of the outdoor recreation industry workforce, which totals over 4.3 million good jobs that help develop economies, increase rural prosperity, improve public health outcomes and quality of life, and promote environmental stewardship and conservation. The report organizes outdoor jobs into three categories: “Technical Specialists,” “Participant-Facing,” and “Integrators” to help the public understand the types of career paths for people with and without higher academic degrees.

High-Quality Career Opportunities: The report also seeks to clear up misconceptions among the public and policymakers about the types and diversity of jobs in the outdoor recreation economy.

As a newly organized sector including well over 110,000 small, medium and Fortune 500 businesses across America, many professional and technical careers in the outdoors are unseen or unknown by the public. Most participants in outdoor recreation activities only interact with consumer-facing employees, including retail and hospitality staff members, guides and outfitters, parking and campground attendants, and concessionaires who sell food, beverages, supplies, and souvenirs at recreation hot-spots. While these important jobs certainly make up a segment of jobs in the outdoor recreation economy, there are also millions of professional and technical, full-time positions across the sector that are lesser known and provide competitive wages and meaningful careers. Today’s report helps illustrate the breadth of these roles.

Outdoor Recreation is a Growth Industry: Multiple factors have converged to drive the significant growth in the outdoor recreation industry in recent years, with the corresponding increase in the number of jobs throughout the country, including in rural areas which are transitional from extractive and other industries and focusing more on recreation.

Finally, today ORR also debuted a new Career Path module to help meet real people in the outdoor recreation industry. This module is a digital resource which features professionals across the outdoor recreation industry telling their stories about how they arrived in their current roles, describing what they appreciate about their work/life balance, and sharing advice to prospective workers who want to emulate their journey.

EDA Competitive Recreation Funding Hub

In 2021, ORR worked to ensure funding for outdoor recreation as part of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) American Rescue Plan funding. This effort was rewarded when EDA announced $750 million in funding for Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation projects, helping grow the recreation economy nationwide. $510 million of this funding was distributed in the form of state block grants, while $240 million is being distributed as competitive grants.

From this pool of competitive grant funding, ORR is highlighting the recreation-specific projects that EDA has chosen to fund. These recreation projects are generating wide-ranging positive impacts across the United States, including rural economic development, new recreation infrastructure, public health, and equitable access for all communities.  This list will be updated as new awards are announced.

Totals (Updated 10/7):

  • $111,041,829 in direct EDA funding

  • $39,565,781 in local investment

  • $150,607,610 total

  • $640,393,500 in private funding leveraged (estimate)

  • 3295 jobs created (estimate)

  • 1457 jobs saved (estimate)

  • 34 States

Alabama

Purchase and installation of synthetic turf for ten baseball/softball fields at the Daphne Sports Complex

City of Daphne, Daphne/Baldwin County, Alabama

$1,650,000, matched by $550,000 in local investment

The project will diversify, expand and enhance the outdoor recreation economy in the city of Daphne. Synthetic turf is a popular attraction, allowing Daphne Sports Complex to be more competitive in scheduling tournaments. Once completed, the project will help strengthen tourism recovery from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic in the area, which will help restore and retain existing jobs to build resiliency to withstand future economic disruptions. The grantee estimates that this investment will help leverage $1,000,000.

Supports: Field sports, Economic Development

Alaska

Development of outdoor recreational infrastructure and amenities at Meals Hill

City of Valdez, Valdez/Chugach County, Alaska

$2,532,734, matched by $633,184 in local investment

The project will help construct bike paths, hiking trails, and other visitor amenities at Meals Hill to attract new visitors and stimulate tourism-related business growth in the area. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.

Supports: Biking, Trail Activities, Economic Development

Constructing a facility at the Small Boat Harbor

Yakutat, Yakutat/Yakutat County, Alaska

$400,000, matched by $100,000 in local investment

This public facility will help the tourism sector recover from adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing employment opportunities in the area, spurring private investment, and advancing economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 131 jobs, save 131 jobs, and leverage $3,500,000 in private investment.

Supports: Boating, Economic Development

Campus Enhancement Plan for the Homer Society of Natural History (Pratt Museum)

Homer/Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

$85,491, matched by $26,174 in local investment

Guide investment in and development of the Pratt Museum’s 10-acre parcel and fund the design for an ADA-accessible, covered outdoor amphitheater and pavilion. The museum is located in the City of Homer, Alaska, which serves remote communities accessible only by rugged road, boat, or plane, including Alaska Native villages located on remote coastline and secluded Russian Old Believer communities. Homer is the economic, education, health care, and cultural hub in the area, and it is one of the most important maritime harbors in the state. Once completed, the project is expected to encourage a dynamic downtown center to help assist in the region’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.

Supports: General Outdoor recreation, Accessibility, Economic Development

Support the planning and future construction of a riverfront street to redevelop downtown Soldotna in Alaska

City of Soldotna, Soldotna/Kenai Peninsula County, Alaska

$360,000, matched by $90,000 in local investment

The City of Soldotna has experienced significant job loss over the years and the project will allow Soldotna to leverage the region’s fishing and tourism industries by providing infrastructure on vacant and underutilized lands for developments of parks, streets, trails, etc. for business revitalization. These improvements will foster new private capital investment, partnerships, and job creation, while bolstering activity for existing businesses and improving the quality of the built environment for residents and visitors. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will advance economic resiliency throughout the region.

Supports: Fishing and Tourism, Trail Activities, Economic Development

Arizona

New, shared-use trail in Cochise County

City of Bisbee/Bisbee Bikeways, Bisbee/Cochise County, Arizona

$4,522,137, matched by $49,863 in local investment

The project will facilitate construction of a shared-use path for pedestrians and cyclists as part of the Cochise County segment of the Sun Corridor Trail. Once completed, the project will help boost the local economy in the region, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantees estimate that this investment will help create 233 jobs, save 92 jobs, and leverage $2,800,000 in private investment.

Supports:  Biking, Trail Activities, Economic Development

Arkansas

Construction of a mountain biking trail in City of Mena, Arkansas

City of Mena, Mena/Polk County, Arkansas

$275,000, matched by $72,900 in local investment

EDA investment will support the construction of a mountain biking trail to add to the existing network of mountain bike trails in Polk and Montgomery Counties, Arkansas. Approximately 6 miles of trails will be constructed, helping to expand existing businesses as part of an overall community plan, including a mountain bike base camp at an empty school. The former middle school is located just 1.5 miles from the project site and the facility and a basecamp for mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts with the downstairs to be retail and the upstairs residential will enhance established businesses as well as others in the process of opening and future businesses. Once completed, the project will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.

Supports: Mountain Biking, Economic Development

Construct Multi-Use Trail System and Museum to Boost Tourism in Arkansas

State of Arkansas

$2,000,000, matched by $500,169 in local investment

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Garland County, Arkansas, will receive a $1 million grant to construct the Garland County portion of the Southwest Trail, a multi-county bicycle and pedestrian trail. The trail will connect Little Rock, Arkansas, to Hot Springs, Arkansas, attracting tourists and boosting outdoor recreation in the region. The project will be matched with $250,000 in local funds.
  • Saline County, Arkansas, will receive a $1 million grant to restore the historic Old River Bridge over the Saline River as part of the Southwest Trail, attracting tourists and boosting outdoor recreation in the region. The project will be matched with $250,169 in local funds.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Bicycling, Economic Development

California

Support development of the Mariposa Creek Trailhead and Destination Park

Mariposa County, Mariposa/Mariposa County, California

$671,500, matched by $200,000 in local investment

Support the long-term recovery of tourism in the county through expansion of recreational opportunities designed to make the county a year-round destination for visitors. The project will help businesses that rely on tourism in the area become more resilient to seasonal economic downturns and systemic shocks such as the coronavirus pandemic, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.

Supports: Trail Activities, Economic Development

Colorado

Fund the Grand County Tourism Revitalization Project, to support the recovery and resilience of Grand County’s tourism and outdoor recreation economy  

Grand County, Hot Sulphur Springs/Grand County, Colorado

$400,000, matched by $100,000 in local investment

The project will help the county extend the current summer and winter tourism seasons year-round and diversify the tourism sector by highlighting often overlooked tourist and outdoor reaction attractions in Colorado. By doing this, more stable, year-round jobs will be created, new business opportunities will arise to fill the gap of those that closed during the coronavirus pandemic and struggling businesses will receive needed support and promotion to grow. Once completed, the project will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.

Supports: Economic Development

Delaware

Establishment of the Campgrounds Design and Improvement Project

Dover/Kent County, Delaware

$3,212,400, matched by $803,100 in local investment

Design and engineer a planning grant to expand and make infrastructure improvements to Delaware’s five state park campgrounds. The project will focus on campground enhancements to wastewater, drinking water, bathrooms, auxiliary amenities, campsites, and cabins, addressing existing challenges as well as planning for potential areas of growth to meet the needs of tourist and visitors. Once completed, the project will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.

Supports: Camping, General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Trail infrastructure improvements to the Jack A. Markell Trail in Delaware

New Castle County, New Castle/New Castle County, Delaware

$822,800, matched by $205,700 in local investment

The project elements include grading, erosion and sedimentation control, paved surface replacement, landscaping, signage, and appurtenances, to improve access to outdoor recreation along the trail. In addition, improvements will include the demolition and removal of existing paved surfaces, which will be replaced with new and green infrastructure for stormwater management and streetscape vegetation, to provide new accessible paved surfaces, curbing, and ADA-accessible walkways. Once completed, the project will enhance the visitor experience in New Castle, which will assist in the area’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 15 jobs and save 30 jobs.

Supports: Trail Activities, Economic Development

District of Columbia

Building an environmental education center at the new 11th Street Bridge Park

Building Bridges Across the River/District Department of Transportation, Washington, District of Columbia

$6,011,505, matched by $1,502,876 in local investment

The center will be a new venue for recreation, education, and regional culture. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantees estimate that this investment will help create 30 jobs, save 179 jobs, and leverage $7,000,000 in private investment.

Supports: Environmental Education, Economic Development

Hawaii

New visitor amenities and attractions

State of Hawaii, Honolulu/Honolulu County, Hawaii

$600,000, matched by $180,000 in local investment

The project will facilitate the retention of additional interpretive staff for outdoor recreational sites of special significance to Native Hawaiian history and heritage, improving the visitor experience and supporting growth in the state’s tourism industry. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.

General Outdoor Recreation, Interpretation, Tribal History, Economic Development

Idaho

Development of a new visitor facility

Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai/Nez Perce County, Idaho

$1,000,000

The project work includes the construction of visitor amenities, including restrooms, shower facilities, and prefabricated cabins, to provide opportunities for camping and cultural tourism at historically significant sites in the traditional Nez Perce lands in Idaho and Oregon. Once completed, the project will help boost the local economy, increase employment opportunities, save jobs, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 6 jobs and leverage 18 jobs.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Camping, Tribal History, Economic Development

Iowa

Cedar River Recreational Project

City of Cedar Falls, Cedar Falls/Black Hawk County, Iowa

$1,500,000, matched by $3,331,450 in local investment

Construct a series of six jetties on both sides of the Cedar River in Cedar Falls, Iowa, improving the safety of a low head dam and changing the bank stabilization. The project will help Cedar Falls address the local and regional need for expanded riverfront tourism by improving river access infrastructure to support in-stream users interested in floating and paddling and on-bank users interesting in picnicking, playing, and angling. The economic impact of these increased outdoor recreation and tourism activities will support local businesses and business expansion, and create jobs and private investment, which will advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 129 jobs and leverage $295,000 in private investment.

Supports: River Recreation, Economic Development

Kansas

Creation of an Outdoor Riverfront Park at Exploration Place 

Wichita, Kansas

$1,255,989, matched by $313,997 in local investment

Support the creation of an outdoor riverfront park at Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas. The project will provide the Exploration Place science and discovery center a space for new and expanded events, bringing new visitors to the city, its businesses, and attractions. Once completed, the improvements will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 21 jobs.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Maine

Installation of a new lift and upgrade of the snowmaking capability to extend the ski season

Big Rock, Mars Hill/Aroostook County, Maine

$2,538,800, matched by $634,700 in local investment

The new lift will be a fixed-grip chairlift that will require earthwork, concrete, and erection for the base and top terminals, lift towers, and operator houses. The snowmaking upgrades will include the installation of a multi-pump system, additional snow producers, associated piping and electrical infrastructure for additional snowmaking locations. Once completed, the project will help the region become more resilient to fluctuations in tourism and assist in the region’s recovery, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 11 jobs, save 44 jobs, and leverage $2,000,000 in private investment.

Supports: Snow Activities, Economic Development

Whitewater Recreation project in Somerset County, Maine

Somerset County, Maine

$4,889,600, matched by $1,222,400 in local investment

The project work includes creating two whitewater rapid features through excavation of existing river and bank bedrock; constructing new river rock outcroppings; and reshaping the river bottom. In addition, features will utilize drop and water velocity to enhance existing rapids and create whitewater waves for high-quality recreation. The whitewater park is a destination and national events venue, and this project will help drive visitation, support business growth and retention, attract new entrepreneurs and residents, spur private investment and job creation, and diversify the tax base, resulting in a stronger and more resilient economy in the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 40 jobs, save 136 jobs, and leverage $37,800,000 in private investment.

Supports: Paddlesports, Economic Development

Expansion of Port Town Landing Pier   

Town of St. George, Tenants Harbor/Knox County, Maine

$3,851,084, matched by $962,771 in local investment

Support the expansion of the Port Clyde town landing pier, to provide vehicle maneuvering room, and make miscellaneous improvements including, wheel stops, electric power and water to the floating docks, adding hydraulic hoists for catch/cargo, and installing facility lighting in Knox County, Maine. The Port Clyde Landing represents one of the only public facilities in the region that provides access for recreational boating, commercial fishing, and tourism related activities, all of which are key components of the local and regional economy. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 15 jobs and save 151 jobs.

Supports: Boating Infrastructure, Economic Development

Maryland

Redevelopment of the Cambridge waterfront through construction of a new promenade

Cambridge, Maryland

$2,400,000, matched by $600,000 in local investment

This project will support redevelopment of the Cambridge waterfront through construction of a new promenade and other improvements. This EDA grant will be matched with $600,000 in local funds, and is expected to help create 73 jobs, retain seven jobs, and generate $20 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Development of the Outdoor Recreation and Nature -Tourism Project

City of Havre de Grace, Havre de Grace/Hartford County, Maryland

$319,000, matched by $79,800 in local investment

Construction/installation of a public boat pier/dock, the purchase of an EV tourism transportation vehicle with installation of EV charging stations, and the completion of Swan Harbor Trail in Harford, Maryland. The project will greatly facilitate day tourism with recreational boaters and is key to the city’s recovery plan for water tourism. In addition, the project will allow nature trekkers an additional nature trail in Havre de Grace. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer visitors traveled to the region, which caused a downturn and loss of revenue across the state. The project will encourage new business ventures, create new jobs opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 15 jobs, save 15 jobs, and leverage $300,000 in private investment.

Supports: Recreational Boating, EV Charging, Hiking, Economic Development

Massachusetts

New multi-use path (bicycle and pedestrian) through Southbridge, Massachusetts

Town of Southbridge, Southbridge/Worcester County, Massachusetts

$2,623,625, matched by $1,500,000 in local investment

The Quinebaug Valley Rail Trail will expand upon the existing tourism industry in the region, as the trail will traverse downtown Southbridge and parallel to existing commercial corridors. By linking trails and businesses, the project will help boost the local economy in Southbridge and the region, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 45 jobs, save 25 jobs, and leverage $3,300,000 in private investment.

Supports: Trail Activities, Economic Development

Support water infrastructure improvements to develop the Greylock Glen Resort in Berkshire County, Massachusetts 

Town of Adams, Adams/Berkshire County, Massachusetts

$2,894,500, matched by $1,240,500 in local investment

The town has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the development of this facility will significantly expand tourism and outdoor recreational opportunities in the area. The county relies on arts, entertainment, and recreation, as well as accommodation and food services to support a strong economy in its region. The project will help drive business back to the hospitality and tourism community, to enhance economic impact and reestablish tourism as the number one economic driver in the county. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 476 jobs and leverage $42,000,000 in private investment.

Supports: Water Infrastructure, Economic Development

Michigan

Upgrading the downtown riverwalk along the Manistee River

City of Manistee, Manistee/Manistee County, Michigan

$850,000, matched by $240,000 in local investment

The project will provide safety upgrades and improve access and walkability on the south riverwalk bringing new visitors to the region and stimulating business and job growth. Once completed, the project will help build resiliency to withstand future economic disruptions, which will boost and promote economic growth throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 21 jobs, save 26 jobs, and leverage $178,500 in private investment.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Extending the Betsie Valley Trail and constructing a bridge over Bear Creek

Northwest Michigan Council of Governments/State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Traverse City/Grand Traverse County, Michigan

$1,391,280, matched by $347,820 in local investment

EDA investment will support the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments with extending the Betsie Valley Trail and constructing a bridge over Bear Creek that will provide direct access from local communities to the trail in Michigan. The project will help boost the outdoor recreation sector by enhancing trail capacity, which will encourage new business ventures, create new jobs opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantees estimate that this investment will help create 50 jobs, save 15 jobs, and leverage $500,000 in private investment.

Supports: Trail activities, Economic Development

Support development of the Western Upper Peninsula Tourism Economic Impact Analysis, to help regional leaders better-understand how to capitalize on tourism and outdoor recreation as a regional economic driver in Hancock, Michigan

Hancock/Houghton County, Michigan

$119,913, matched by $29,979 in local investment

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the region’s tourism industry but also created demand and opportunities in outdoor recreation for the region. Once completed, the project will help the region respond to damage to the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors from the coronavirus pandemic, which will enhance future economic sustainability, strengthen the regional economy, and bolster economic resiliency throughout the region.

Supports: Economic Development

Minnesota

Redeveloping and enhancing the Appleton Area Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park

Swift County, Benson/Swift County, Minnesota

$1,034,196, matched by $443,227 in local investment, to Swift County, Benson/Swift County, Minnesota

As the region recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy’s recovery and resilience to future economic disruptions requires improvements at the Appleton OHV Park. The project will ensure the Park’s long-term viability as a critical source of tourism-based economic activity, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 25 jobs, save 25 jobs, and leverage $50,000 in private investment.

Supports: Motorized Recreation, Economic Development

Construction of the new Ely Regional Trailhead Facility

City of Ely, Ely/Saint Louis County, Minnesota

$1,500,000, matched by $1,187,702 in local investment

Supports construction of the new Ely Regional Trailhead Facility, which will enhance the region’s attractiveness as a tourist destination in Saint Louis County, Minnesota. Ely’s economy is significantly more reliant on tourism than the rest of Minnesota, and pandemic-related business closures reduced payrolls associated with the industry by as much as 18 percent from 2020 to 2021. The project will provide for amenities such as restrooms, vending machines, and common areas designed to welcome tourists to the region and its local businesses, which will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 75 jobs, save 50 jobs, and leverage $500,000 in private investment.

Supports: Hiking, Economic Development

Support the development of its new outdoor recreation trail plan

Slayton/Murray County, Minnesota

$167,198, matched by $41,800 in local investment

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southwest Minnesota region suffered devastating job losses and business closures. The project will conduct a study and analyses of the populations engaging in outdoor recreation and current community outreach efforts to assist the region in increasing tourism activity in the area. Once completed, the project will help the region become more resilient to fluctuations in tourism and capitalize outdoor recreation assets, which will help increase employment opportunities and spur private investment throughout the region.

Supports: Trail Activities, Economic Development

Montana

Constructing river access improvements including an ADA-accessible path, access stairs, a concrete viewing platform, and stone terrace seating along the Clark Fork River

City of Missoula/Missoula Downtown Association, Missoula/Missoula County, Montana

$1,220,304, matched by $305,076 in local investment

EDA investment will construct river access improvements including an ADA accessible path, access stairs, a concrete viewing platform, and stone terrace seating along the Clark Fork River, adjacent to Caras Park in Missoula County, Montana. The project will create jobs in Missoula’s hospitality, tourism, retail and restaurant sectors, which were among the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the project will allow for the expansion of existing water-based events and create opportunities for new events to be established, which will increase recreational use and the absence of formal river access along the riverbank. Once completed, the project will help the region become more resilient to fluctuations in tourism and assist in the region’s recovery, which will help increase employment opportunities and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantees estimate that this investment will help create 21 jobs.

Supports: River Access, Boating, Fishing, Economic Development

Nevada

Support construction of outdoor recreational visitor facilities

Carson City/Carson City County, Nevada

$3,712,000, matched by $928,000 in local investment

Support construction of outdoor recreational visitor facilities in Boulder City and Carson City to enhance adventure tourism in the state and bolster the success of associated businesses. Once completed, the project will help the region respond to damage to the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors from the coronavirus pandemic and boost the economic resilience of areas dependent on those industries.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Boulder City Dark Sky Lighting Infrastructure Retrofitting Project

Carson City/Carson City County, Nevada

Supports: $1,927,800, matched by $617,898 in local investment

The project supports the growth of the tourism sector in Boulder City by installing 2,560 light pollution-reducing lighting fixtures in Boulder City, improving night sky-viewing and the development of tourism-related businesses throughout the region. Once completed, the project will help the region become more resilient to fluctuations in tourism and assist in the region’s recovery, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 21 jobs and leverage $400,000 in private investment.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Dark Sky, Economic Development

New Hampshire

Construct a 2.2-mile multi-use recreational path

Mount Washington Valley Trails Association, North Conway, New Hampshire

$2,200,000, matched by $989,985 in local investment

This project will boost tourism by extending an existing path from the Cranmore Mountain Resort north to the Intervale Scenic Vista. The EDA investment will be matched with $989,985 in local funds and is expected to create 30 jobs, retain 15 jobs and generate $70 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Trail Activities

New Jersey

Boardwalk Revitalization Project

City of Atlantic City, Atlantic City/Atlantic County, New Jersey

$6,000,000, matched by $1,500,000 in local investment

The project work includes the engineering, construction, and construction management of the wooden way, which is in the center of the city and is highly visible and ideally located. The largest tourism attraction in Atlantic City and in New Jersey is the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk. The Boardwalk structure is now over 100 years old and replacing this aging infrastructure will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 125 jobs and leverage $5,000,000 in private investment.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Reconstruction of two and a half blocks of the Wildwood Boardwalk

City of Wildwood, Wildwood/Cape May County, New Jersey

$3,250,000, matched by $845,000 in local investment

As the primary economic driver for both the City and County, this reconstruction project will not only lead to an increase in customers for businesses on and around the boardwalk, including retail, entertainment, food service, accommodations, short-term property rentals, and other tourism-related businesses, but will ensure that these increases remain a permanent part of the local economy. The reconstruction of the boardwalk ensures that it remains an economic driver for the coronavirus pandemic economic recovery efforts and to build the resilience of the regional economy that depends on tourism for fiscal viability. Once completed, the project will help the region become more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities and spur private investment throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 109 jobs and leverage $6,000,000 in private investment.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

New Mexico

Construction of a trail segment to improve the Santa Fe Rail Trail

Santa Fe County, Santa Fe/Santa County, New Mexico

$678,128, matched by $169,533 in local investment

EDA investment will support the construction of a trail segment to improve the Santa Fe Rail Trail, a 15-mile regional trail that provides a significant opportunity for the County to leverage its natural resources in New Mexico. The County is recognized for and committed to enhancing its outdoor recreation and ecotourism opportunities. Tourism in Santa Fe was a major economic force, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism industry collapsed and resulted in huge losses in visitor spending and related jobs. The project will help revitalize tourism in the area by providing a multi-modal outdoor corridor connecting existing railyard districts to the historical town of Lamy. Once completed, the project will help restore and retain existing jobs to build resiliency to withstand future economic disruptions.

Supports: Trail Activities, Economic Development

North Carolina

Establishment of a new interpretive environmental center

Davidson County, Lexington/Davidson County, North Carolina

$1,310,480, matched by $327,620 in local investment

Establishment of a new interpretive environmental center to provide tourists and outdoor recreation enthusiasts an opportunity to learn about the cultural and geologic history of the area. The center will connect tourists to the region’s travel and tourism amenities, and will offer a wide array of classes, camps, and programs to further attract tourists to Lexington, North Carolina. In addition, the project work will include related water and parking infrastructure to further support tourism growth in the area. The project will help boost the local tourism industry by bringing new visitors to the city, its businesses, and attractions, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, assist in the region’s recovery, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 40 jobs and leverage $79,000,000 in private investment.

Supports: Recreational Boating, General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Support the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation (BRPF) with establishing a strategic planning process to help engage community leaders in all 12 Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway counties

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, North Carolina

$393,193, matched by $102,689 in local investment

The BRPF will work alongside community leaders in each county to examine the Blue Ridge Parkway as a community asset and identify strategies to grow travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation in rural and underserved communities. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt all along the Blue Ridge Parkway corridor in Virginia and this project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and promote the economic resilience of regions dependent on the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries.

Supports: Economic Development

Support Triangle J Council of Governments with conducting a corridor feasibility and economic impact analysis to determine how to best leverage the Haw River to drive economic recovery within the travel and tourism sectors and facilitate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic

Durham/Durham County, North Carolina

$284,260, matched by $71,065 in local investment

Additionally, the analysis will identify ways to capitalize on gaps and expand economic and community development opportunities, to help enhance economic impact and reestablish tourism as the number one economic driver in the area. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantees estimate that this investment will help create 15 jobs and leverage $30,000 in private investment.

Supports: River Activities, Economic Development

North Dakota

Fund the Frost Fire Park Snowmaking Infrastructure Improvement and Expansion Project

Walhalla/Pembina County, North Dakota

$2,170,488, matched by $542,622 in local investment

Update infrastructure that will improve the quality and longevity of the winter sports activities in the park. The project will support Pembina Gorge Foundation with addressing the local and regional need for expanded and resilient tourism and outdoor recreation activities in the park. Once completed, the project will have direct economic impact on the park’s operations, particularly its winter sports season and other activities, which will drive and expand its business, increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 23 jobs.

Supports: Winter Sports, Economic Development

Ohio

Upgrades to Burr Oak State Park

Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus/Franklin County (Project: Glouster/Morgan County), Ohio

$2,418,500, matched by $604,625 in local investment

The project will include new campsite amenities, trail segments, and docks at the marina to enhance the visitor experience at the park. The project will encourage new business ventures, create new jobs opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 100 jobs and save 25 jobs.

Supports: Camping, Trail Activities, Boating, Fishing, Economic Development

Build 60-acre recreational vehicle (RV) campground at the wildlife conservation center to help attract tourists to 10,000-acre park

Cumberland/Guernsey County, Ohio

$2,155,616, matched by $700,000 in local investment

Support the International Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals (The Wilds) in Ohio, with building a 60-acre recreational vehicle (RV) campground at the wildlife conservation center to help attract tourists to 10,000-acre park, which is located on reclaimed coal mine land along the Appalachian Byway. Throughout its history, the Guernsey County region relied on coal mining, and The Wilds facility was built on recovered coal mine land. The ongoing decline of the coal industry, together with sudden job losses and business closures, devastated the region’s economy in recent years. The RV campground will help the region recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and will drive economic activity, diversification, and resilience in the region’s growing tourism economy. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 100 jobs, save 25 jobs, and leverage $500,000 in private investment.

Supports: RV Infrastructure, Economic Development

Oregon

Construction of an entry plaza at Cottage Grove’s Bohemian Park

City of Cottage Grove, Cottage Grove/Lane County, Oregon

$1,097,807, matched by $274,450 in local investment

Support construction of an entry plaza at Cottage Grove’s Bohemian Park, improving the visitor experience and boosting local tourism in Lane County. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Trail Activities, Economic Development

Expansion of an existing trail system to catalyze the local tourist sector in Lane County

City of Eugene, Eugene/Lane County, Oregon

$1,214,479, matched by $724,836 in local investment

The project will support the Suzanne Arlie Park Trails and Mountain Bike Facilities project by extending the 13-mile Ridgeline Trail system, boosting the local tourism economy by expanding opportunities for outdoor recreation. Once completed, the project will help the region become more resilient to fluctuations in tourism and assist in the region’s recovery, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 22 jobs, save 4 jobs, and leverage $200,000 in private investment.

Supports: Biking, Trail Activities, Economic Development

Design and construction of a new 32,000 square foot park in downtown Portland

City of Portland, Portland/Multnomah County, Oregon

$1,209,600, matched by $302,400 in local investment

The project will support the recovery of the tourism sector through recreational infrastructure improvements and beautification. Once completed, the project will help the region respond to damage to the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors from the coronavirus pandemic and boost the economic resilience of areas dependent on those industries. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 205 jobs, save 84 jobs, and leverage $1,900,000 in private investment.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Rhode Island

Blackstone River Bikeway connecting Pawtucket and National Park Services Slater Mill Historic Park and the existing Blackstone Bikeway path

City of Pawtucket, Pawtucket/Providence County, Rhode Island

$4,812,600, matched by $1,357,400 in local investment

The project will also connect to a new Tidewater Landing mixed-use brownfields redevelopment anchored with an 11,000-seat United Soccer League soccer stadium and the Armory Arts District and other recreational resources in the city. The project will help addresses economic harm to the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industry due to the coronavirus pandemic by increasing economic opportunity and creating jobs in the travel, leisure, and hospitality sectors. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 538 jobs and leverage $284,100,000 in private investment.

Supports: Bike Activities, Economic Development

South Dakota

Construction of a pedestrian bridge, outdoor visitor plaza, recreational trail, outdoor exhibits and art installations

City of Fort Pierre, Fort Pierre/Stanley County, South Dakota

$1,860,263, matched by $513,000 in local investment

The project will fund construction of a pedestrian bridge, outdoor visitor plaza, recreational trail, outdoor exhibits and art installations, and landscaping to create more recreational opportunities in Fort Pierre, South Dakota. The project improvements will directly impact the Tatanka Trail development area, which supports South Dakota’s central region in its efforts to address impacts in the travel and tourism industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 50 jobs and leverage $37,000,000 in private investment.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Improvements at the Lake Mitchell marina and surrounding trail system

City of Mitchell, Mitchell/ Davison County, South Dakota

$1,000,000, matched by $937,677 in local investment

The project will support outdoor recreation and boost the local tourism industry by bringing new visitors to the City of Mitchell, its businesses, and local attractions, which will support the community as it recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once completed, the project will also assist the region by making it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the area. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 20 jobs.

Supports: Recreational Boating, Hiking, Economic Development

Tennessee

Tailout Trail, Tom Lee Park

City of Memphis, Memphis/Shelby County, Tennessee

$3,731,439, matched by $6,088,137 in local investment

The Tailout Trail, will be one-of-a-kind, inviting visitors up and (during high water) over river habitat for spectacular views of the Mississippi, the Arkansas floodplain and the more than 325 bird species. The project will draw national attention and support to Memphis and is expected to bring thousands of new visitors to the riverfront. These visitors will have a significant impact on nearby restaurants, music venues and hotels. Once completed, the Tailout Trail will be a major focal point for eco-tourism in Memphis, spawning new small businesses associated with river touring, biking, and hiking, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantees estimate that this investment will help leverage $2,800,000 in private investment.

Supports: Trail Activities, River Touring, Biking, Hiking, Economic Development

Utah

Construction of a nature education and outdoor exploration facility

Stokes Nature Center, Providence/Cache County, Utah

$1,885,000, matched by $471,250 in local investment

EDA investment will support the construction of a nature education and outdoor exploration facility to include boardwalk and trails, parking lot and drive, road improvements and sidewalk, amphitheater, outdoor pavilion including an outdoor kitchen, restrooms, yurt, outdoor classroom, a wildlife observation tower and viewing blind, camping area, and play area. The project will facilitate job growth and private investment as well as creating a space for affordable outdoor recreation and education opportunities that will support nature-based tourism in the region. In addition, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 10 jobs.

Supports: Outdoor education, General Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife Viewing, Camping, Economic Development

Support the National Ability Center (NAC) with addressing the local and regional need for outdoor recreation programs and equipment for people with disabilities in Park City, Utah

Park City/Summit County, Utah

$371,678, matched by $92,920 in local investment

By increasing the number of programs and activities offered, hiring additional staff and instructors, and increasing equipment, NAC will be able to offer over 2,000 additional lessons throughout the year, which will increase equitable access to outdoor recreation and tourism activities in the region. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 14 jobs.

Supports: Disabled Access, Economic Development

Virginia

Infrastructure upgrades to support the local tourism industry

City of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg/Fredericksburg City County, Virginia

$1,200,000, matched by $300,000 in local investment

The project will provide for the construction of a performance stage and restroom facilities at the recently opened Riverfront Park recreational area. In the center of the historic downtown district of Fredericksburg, Riverfront Park is a 3.6-acre greenspace designed for visitors and residents connecting the Rappahannock River with Sophia Street, an essential location for a unified recreational corridor. These improvements will directly support expanding and sustaining tourism opportunities in Fredericksburg, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 150 jobs and save 150 jobs.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Washington

Improvements to an existing tourist infrastructure in Pacific County

City of Long Beach, Long Beach/Pacific County, Washington

$2,483,618, matched by $620,904 in local investment

The project work includes the renovation of 2,150 feet of waterfront boardwalk, improving this key visitor amenity critical to the local tourist economy. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and promote economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 35 jobs, save 71 jobs, and leverage $1,600,000 in private investment.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

West Virginia

Constructing recreational improvements across to serve as the gateway to the newly designated New River Gorge National Park

City of Smithers/City of Montgomery, Smithers/Fayette County, West Virginia

$1,401,541, matched by $350,386 in local investment

The project improvements will include renovation of the Montgomery Marina, the construction of the River Cities Trail and the construction of the Oakland Riverfront Park. Once completed, the project will help further enhance the resiliency of tourism and hospitality industries in the area, which will boost and promote economic growth throughout the region. The grantees estimate that this investment will help create 53 jobs, save 28 jobs, and leverage $5,600,000 in private investment.

Supports: Boating, Fishing, General Outdoor Recreation, Economic Development

Develop and expand recreational mountain biking infrastructure in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle

South Charleston, West Virginia

$2,800,000, matched by $700,000 in local investment

This project will support completion of the bike trail system at Cacapon State Park, including trail design and construction, and development of bike facilities. This EDA grant will be matched with $700,000 in local funds, and is expected to help create 36 jobs, retain 46 jobs and generate $934,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

Supports: Mountain Biking, Economic Development

Construction of the Mylan Park Regional BMX Facility

Morgantown, West Virginia

$4,681,270, matched by $1,170,317 in local investment

To help boost the local tourism industry by bringing new visitors to the city, its businesses, and attractions. The project will help drive business back to the hospitality and tourism community, to enhance economic impact and reestablish tourism as the number one economic driver in the state. The new jobs created and retained will be in the hospitality sector, including retail, dining, lodging, and management and services positions at the facility. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 80 jobs, save 2 jobs, and leverage $1,200,000 in private investment.

Supports: Bicycle Riding, Economic Development

Wisconsin

Northwest Wisconsin Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Opportunities Study

Spooner/Washburn County, Wisconsin

$393,113, matched by $98,279 in local investment

Provide a long-term plan for travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation in northwest Wisconsin. The study will chart a path toward recovery and resilience for the region’s tourism industry. The COVID-19 pandemic, and resulting drop in travel and tourism revenue, devastated the region’s tourism economy and left businesses searching for ways to recover and mitigate future economic disasters. Once completed, the project will help the region become more resilient to fluctuations in tourism and assist in the region’s recovery, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area.

Supports: General Outdoor Recreation, Long-Range Planning, Economic Development

New 5,000 square foot trailhead facility to welcome visitors to Lapham Peak and the Kettle Moraine State Forest

Friends of Lapham Peek Unit-Kettle Moraine State Forest, Inc./Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Delafield/Waukesha County, Wisconsin

$1,299,900, matched by $669,600 in local investment

EDA investment will fund construction of Lapham Lodge, a new 5,000 square foot trailhead facility to welcome visitors to Lapham Peak and the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Delafield, Wisconsin. The project will help boost tourism to assist in the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism. Once completed, the project will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantees estimate that this investment will help create 25 jobs, save 10 jobs, and leverage $206,000 in private investment.

Supports: Trail activities, Economic Development