Outdoor Recreation

Along with tourism, many of rural communities are looking to outdoor recreation opportunities to increase economic opportunities, as well as attract visitors and residents to their communities.

With approximately 38 million acres of public land, 170,000 miles of rivers, 3,200 named lakes, and habitat that spans mountain peaks to prairie wilderness, it is no surprise the outdoor recreation sector of Montana’s economy ranks as the 2nd largest by consumer spending. Including outdoor recreation direct industry, outdoor recreation retail and peripheral service related businesses, the outdoor recreation economy is an economic powerhouse and growing much faster than most other industries in the U.S. The unmatched and irreplaceable natural resources that create the outdoor recreation economy in Montana fuel thriving businesses from all sectors of the state economy and designate Montana as a premier location for entrepreneurial startups as well as personal and business relocation.

  • 51% of outdoor recreation spending is by residents
  • 81% of Montanans participate in outdoor recreation annually
  • $7.1 billion – consumer spending on outdoor recreation
  • $71,000 direct jobs in Montana in outdoor recreation

Check out the Governor’s Office of Outdoor Recreation for resources and tools to help grow your outdoor recreation economy.