Outdoor Recreation

Almost 200,000 jobs are supported by outdoor recreation spending in Washington State. This includes everything from hunting and fishing to boating, bird-watching, and bicycling and much more. The recent report, Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State, concluded:

The benefits of Washington’s outdoor recreation industry go beyond supporting jobs to include creating a way of life. It is estimated that Washingtonians, on average, spend 56 days a year recreating outdoors. According to the recreation surveys and public land records used in this study, there were a total of about 446 million participant days a year spent on outdoor recreation in Washington, resulting in $21.6 billion dollars in annual expenditures.

Over two thirds of these expenditures come from recreation on public lands and public waters. This legacy of public lands and love for the outdoors has created a fertile environment for outdoor recreation businesses, with many world-leaders in the industry headquartered here in Washington State. With everything from coastal waters to alpine environments to arid desert, Washington State is a great place to do both real-life product testing and provide employees with a great outdoor quality of life.

Governor Inslee is working to increase participation and expand employment in the outdoor recreation sector. These efforts include new tracking of data for economic impact, a blue ribbon task force on outdoor recreation, passage of a transportation package that includes new funds for boating, biking, walking and motorized recreation, and targeted youth initiatives that encourage active lifestyles and environmental education.


Jon Snyder
Senior Policy Advisor
Outdoor Recreation and Economic Development