Georgia’s economy is diverse and dynamic, but lost in the headlines about logistics, or information and financial technology is a booming industry many of us take part in without realizing it: Outdoor recreation.
Did you know Americans spend only nine percent less on outdoor recreation than we do on hospital care? In Georgia alone we annually spend more than $27 billion—with a “b”—on outdoor recreation.
Per the Outdoor Industry Association, that spending helps create some 230,000 direct jobs—that’s more than the auto industry—which result in $8.1 billion in salaries and wages. For the government types reading that, it translates to $1.8 billion in tax revenue for the state and local communities.
These were numbers I was just made aware of, so when I heard last week KL Outdoor, a manufacturer of outdoor equipment, will create more than 100 jobs and invest $8.3 million in Henry County, I was surprised. I had no idea the outdoor recreation industry was a behemoth.
The move makes perfect sense, too. The industry is booming all across the country and Georgia has become a hotbed for manufacturing and distribution.