Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State

Last modified: 
August 30, 2016 - 9:39am
Type: Report
Year of publication: 2015
Date published: 01/2015
Authors: Tania Briceno, Greg Schundler
Publishing institution: Earth Economics
City: Tacoma, WA
Pages: 111

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.

Expenditures were highest for recreation associated with public waters. Water recreation includes a number of activities with high trip and equipment expenditures, especially motorized boating. Ranking second were special events such as sports tournaments and races, which generally involve fees and attract overnight stays. Ranking third was recreation on private lands, which includes expensive recreation activities such as golf, skiing, and off-highway vehicle riding and hunting, which often occur on private timberland. Local parks are the most common place for people to visit as well as the most accessible and least costly destination.

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