(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania’s outdoor recreation industry raked in an estimated $13.2 billion, or 1.6% of the state’s domestic product in 2019, giving it the sixth-largest GDP industry high among all states, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. in a recent report.
Total employment in outdoor recreation, based on state-level data released in September 2020, is estimated at 170,565 jobs, making it the fifth highest employing state in this industry. More than half of those jobs are in retail trade (52,394) or arts, entertainment and recreation (47,125), according to the report’s estimates, which are based on the North American Industry Classification System. North of 2012.
According to the report, Pennsylvania’s arts, entertainment and recreation industry, valued at $2.0 billion, is the fifth-largest in the nation. By comparison, Texas, at $3.8 billion, has the fourth-largest arts, entertainment and recreation-producing state industry, after Florida ($10.3 billion), California (8.2 billion) and New York ($4.0 billion).
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources manages 2.5 million acres of public lands, including state parks and state forests, and supports many of Pennsylvania’s more than 6,000 local parks. ‘State through grants,’ Gretchen Leslie, senior department adviser in the Secretary’s Office, said in an email. Local park spending creates $1.6 billion a year in economic activity, she said.
“National and local parks, state forests and trails are true economic engines worthy of investment to keep them open, safe and welcoming,” Leslie said. “Not only do they support jobs and generate income, but they also provide the amenities and services that are so essential to the vibrancy of the places we call home. Access to the outdoors for all improves the quality of life, which translates into attracting businesses and increasing the value of housing.
“We use newly collected GIS [geographic information system] data to identify gaps in access to outdoor recreation,” said Leslie. “We will seek to target investments to help close these gaps. Our goal is to have a park or trail within 10 minutes of each [Pennsylvanian].”
Pennsylvania also authorized in November 2020 the DCNR to develop new ATV trails that could connect the state’s forest lands to rural areas, especially in the north-central part of the state, Leslie said.
“Our Forestry Bureau is looking at pilot project locations in several north-central counties that could grow local economies with increased driving opportunities,” she said.
The state had received about 1,000 motorized recreation comments, “most of which” were seeking increased opportunities for riding ATVs and motorcycles, in an online survey conducted by the Center for Survey Research, according to the plan. State Outdoor Recreation Program for 2020-2024.
REI and Dicks Sporting Goods are also providing new opportunities for outdoor recreation in the state. The first has announcement a fall 2021 opening for its fifth store in the state, in Mechanicsburg, while Dicks Sporting Goods announcement The Public Lands concept store will take over a Field & Stream store in Pittsburgh later this year.