Wyoming Ranks Third For Most Dependent On Out of doors Financial system

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By Elyse Kelly, The Center Square

According to a recent analysis, Wyoming is the third most dependent state on the outdoor leisure economy.

the analysis was conducted by Outdoorsy, a recreational vehicle rental platform using data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ latest Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (2019).

Outdoorsy gave Wyoming a Dependency Index of 94.2 for outdoor activities, only behind Montana and Hawaii, which got scores of 94.8 and 100.0, respectively.

The ratings are based on three key metrics that were used in the analysis to determine dependency: gross domestic product (GDP), employment and total pay.

With 5.2% of Wyoming jobs being outdoors, employment has the greatest impact on the outdoor economy, according to the analysis.

Wyoming’s tourism industry, which includes outdoor recreation, is the second largest industry in the state, according to Sy Gilliland, president of the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association.

Winter, summer and fall are the busiest times for Wyoming’s outdoor leisure industry, Gilliland said.

Outdoorsys’ analysis ranked snow activities – such as skiing and snowmobiling – in Wyoming as having the greatest economic impact.

Most of these activities are centered in Jackson Hole, according to Gilliland, but the rest of the state gets a taste of the cake during the other seasons – especially fall -.

“Fall is mostly made up of hunters and athletes from around the world and from across the nation,” he told The Center Square in an interview. “You will meet in Wyoming in late August and stay until November. And pretty much every community in Wyoming benefits from that, as our herds of big game are scattered across the state. “

Hunting is one area that Gilliland believes the state could expand into.

“Licenses are issued based on a political allocation to residents versus non-residents,” he said. “So if politics changed and we could issue more of these licenses to non-residents, you could see another leap in our tourism economy this way.”

Ecotourism, wildlife safaris, and climbing are gaining a larger share of the market, he also noted.

“The tourism division – I think they have their finger on the pulse of every aspect of our tourism industry, and I think they do a really good job promoting Wyoming – and maybe too well,” he said. “I mean, a 19% increase over 2019 is pretty impressive.”

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