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The Future of the Outdoor Recreation Economy - Headwaters Economics

The future for outdoor recreation. To continue building a robust future for outdoor recreation, the outdoor sector needs investments in outdoor infrastructure, businesses that support collaboration and sustainable growth, a talent pipeline to build a skilled workforce, and marketing resources that ensure quality and equity.

by Headwaters Economics


2021 HE SOBAN Report


Outdoor business alliances across the country—from Alaska to New Mexico, North Carolina to Maine, Michigan to Idaho—have joined forces to elevate the
vital importance of a thriving outdoor industry.

The State Outdoor Business Alliance Network (SOBAN) strives to strengthen America’s outdoor recreation economy in ways that leverage the interlinked potential of commerce, infrastructure, and participation.

SOBAN focuses on what can best be accomplished together through collaboration on policy and advocacy, research and branding, leadership and partnerships, and sector development. Outdoor business alliances share knowledge, opportunities, and best practices, working alongside national industry partners and state offices of outdoor recreation.

SOBAN’s vision for America’s outdoor recreation economy includes robust businesses, thriving outdoor places, and equitable outdoor recreation opportunities for all people. SOBAN prepared this report to inspire pathways for the outdoor recreation economy in every state.

Published June 2021

About the Author


Headwaters Economics is an independent, nonprofit research group that works to improve community development and land management decisions. We inform community decision-making and identify practical solutions by making complex data understandable, beautiful, and interactive, helping develop solutions to some of the most urgent and important issues that communities face.

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