Outdoor recreation added $2.2 billion to Montana economy in 2020 – Explore Big Sky

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Boating, fishing and RVing posted significant gains last year, nationally and statewide

By Amanda Eggert MONTANA FREE PRESS

This story originally ran on montanafreepress.org.

While Montana’s outdoor recreation economy wasn’t spared the pandemic-spurred losses that swept the globe in 2020, it remained a cornerstone of the state’s economy, according to a report released on Nov. 9 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Outdoor recreation accounted for 4.3 percent of Montana’s GDP last year — a higher percentage than any other state. The next closest was Hawaii, with 3.8 percent.

The report also found that Montana is toward the head of the pack for employment in the outdoor rec sector in 2020, with employment topping 26,000 jobs, or 5.4 percent of the state’s total employment. Hawaii took first place in that category, with employment in outdoor recreation-adjacent sectors accounting for 7 percent of total employment. Montana…

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