The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable releases its 2021 Annual Report showcasing industry-wide efforts to bridge the gap between federal agencies and outdoor recreation businesses, provide support for rural economic growth through recreation, convene cross-segment leaders around how to drive the future of the outdoor recreation industry, educate lawmakers on our sector’s economic impact and so much more. ORR is proud of the work its staff and members have accomplished, and look forward to another strong year.
Letter From Board Chair And President
2021 was another incredible year for the outdoor recreation industry, full of challenges, opportunities, and cross-sector collaboration. ORR and our members were able to provide breakthrough innovation, greater access, and critical infrastructure reform at a time when Americans’ desire to get outdoors was at its peak.
COVID-19 has given policymakers and the public a deeper understanding of not just the economic impacts of outdoor recreation, but its benefits to mental and physical health and society as a whole.
ORR members continued to elevate recreation in the national dialogue with record sales and participation numbers, as well as movement on key recreation priorities with the Biden Administration, with Congress, and rural communities throughout the country. Recreation showed up in the bipartisan infrastructure package in a major way, with critical funding provided to our nation’s green and blue infrastructure. We also made significant progress on a potentially transformative recreation package with hearings, markups, and dozens of bipartisan bills gaining national attention and support.
ORR teamed up with the Bureau of Economic Analysis for their release of 2020 recreation economy data. This annual release not only showcased the impact that COVID-19 had on our sector, but also the resiliency of our businesses and the important role our industry has played in our national recovery and in the lives of millions of Americans. ORR led the way at the state level where two new Offices of Outdoor Recreation were created in Arkansas and Maryland, and several new states joined the National Governors Association’s Outdoor Recreation Learning Network, which we sponsor.
We continued to support rural communities working to transition to more sustainable recreation economies, especially through a new $750 million funding stream from the Economic Development Administration, a new ally in outdoor recreation economy development. And we educated the public and lawmakers on recreation’s relationship to climate change, pandemic recovery, workforce development, and more. We also ramped up the important work of creating a more equitable and inclusive outdoors through the new Together Outdoors program. All of these efforts and more are outlined in and guided by our new board-approved three-year strategic plan.
None of this would have been possible without ORR’s staff, members, and Board of Directors. In 2021, we welcomed new members including the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, National Ski Areas Association, the New Hampshire Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development, and Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy. To the incredible outdoor recreation business community, thank you for your support and engagement. We are honored to ensure the growth and success of outdoor recreation and look forward to another year of limitless possibilities when we work together!
You can read the full report here.