How Does Great Outdoors Lead to Great Opportunity for Business?

How is that resting and relaxation going? For many Americans, the answer to exercising and relieving stress is the great outdoors. Since the founding of the country, people in the U.S. have enjoyed the numerous opportunities for recreation available, throughout the land. Outdoor recreation provides many obvious, and maybe, not so apparent benefits.

Because of the demand for recreation, local, state, and federal governments have played a pivotal role in helping the citizenry play.  Here, we took a magnifying glass to how parks, hiking, fishing, swimming, biking, boating, and camping are of high value to everyday Americans and in high demand by the public sector.

On the federal side, there is a lot of land and resources to manage. According to the National Park Service, there are 59 national parks in the United States. States are busy, as well, and the U.S. landscape is dotted with state parks. Among the statistics reported by America’s State Parks, for FY 2017, there are 8,565 state park areas comprising 18,694,570 acres. A fun fact reveals that there are 14,672 trails covering 52,603 miles in length.

Not really lost though ;). I took this picture during a hike in Yoho National Park in the late morning.

In 2018, our researchers have noted a serious rise in allocations for recreation-related services, solutions, products, etc… On a broad scale, outdoor recreation continues to have a massive significance on the United States GDP. The U.S. Department of Commerces’, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), reported that the growth in the outdoor industry eclipses increases in the entire economy and provides over 2% of the full U.S. GDP. According to their analysis, outdoor recreation adds just south of $400 billion toward the GDP.

Also, back on Sep 27th, 2017, Center for American Progress, published an article, ‘Outdoor Recreation Is Big Business’, further highlighting the importance of the recreation industry to the citizenry, “States ignore the outdoor industry at their peril. With more than 144 million Americans across the nation—nearly half of the U.S. population—participating in activities such as hiking, fishing, skiing, rafting, and biking, outdoor recreation is big business.”

Similarly, others have made note of compelling economic factors, “Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) recently announced that the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually and employs 7.6 million people. For context, that is more than Americans spend each year on pharmaceuticals and fuel combined.” Following data and image from the Outdoor Industry Association.

To understand the high level of activity taking place right now, you can go to the BidPrime link below. For a peek at just a minute sampling of the bid request/RFP data germane to this report, our research team composed the following list.


Parks: Per the National Park Service, back in February, there were 330,882,751 recreation visits in 2017.

Fishing: Per NOAA Fisheries, “saltwater recreational fishing contributes $63 billion in sales and $36 billion in gross domestic product each year to the national economy.”

Swimming: In a study filed late last year, The Spruce wrote, “36% of children aged 7-17 years, and 15% of adults go swimming at least six times annually in the United States.”

Biking: Earlier in ’18, Strong Towns reported, …”Bikeshare systems — where a rental bikeis yours at the swipe of a credit card or click on a smartphone — have sweptacross America since 2010. 88 million rides were taken on 42,000 bikes in the 55 largest systems last year,…”

Boating: Global Market Insights, Inc. says, “Recreational boating market share in the U.S. will surpass USD 28.5 billion by 2024.”

Camping: Back in July, Statista reported on camping in the U.S., “In 2017, the number of participants (aged six years and older) in camping amounted to approximately 41.77 million.”

As a result of what is typical of most any industry, public sector purchasing will directly impact the surge in opportunity and revenue amongst those involved in the recreation and outdoors industry. As pointed out, the above are merely samples of relevant bid requests / RFPs. The trends show that the growth will continue, at minimum, over the next 12-24 months. Similar to you, we will not be resting and relaxing when it comes to closely watching the recreation and outdoors market.

For more information on the bid requests / RFPs, along with the bid documents, call us at 888.808.5356 or visit BidPrime.

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