The Motorcycle Industry Council, along with the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, collaborated with the Western Governors’ Association and other outdoor industry groups to fund a report on the combined economic impact of motorized and non-motorized outdoor recreation. The findings of this first-of-a kind study show the outdoor recreation industry generated $646 billion in national sales and services in 2011.
The joint study was released over the weekend at the WGA Annual Meeting in Cle Elum, Wash., and documents the continued growth and significance of outdoor recreation to the economies of the Western states and the nation overall. Representing the MIC, ROHVA and SVIA, Polaris Industries President and COO Bennett Morgan participated in the meeting’s opening session. He joined WGA chair Governor Christine Gregoire (Washington) and vice-chair Governor Gary Herbert (Utah), as well as the CEOs of REI and Brunswick, in a panel discussion on the breadth and importance of the recreation industry to the West. The panelists also discussed how state and local governments can help grow the outdoor recreation economy.
“The big news is that the direct economic impact of outdoor recreation was worth $646 billion in 2011, generating more dollars than other vast industries like pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles and related parts,” said Morgan. “The MIC, the SVIA, and ROHVA were pleased to invest in the research that helped make this study possible. Now that the initial results of the study are out, it’s time to put down the pencils and calculators and take advantage of the great outdoors and have some fun.”
According to the WGA, the organization saw a need for an economic impact report documenting the income, tax revenue and number of jobs created by outdoor recreation. As a result, it reached out to the MIC, SVIA and ROHVA to collaborate with WGA and the Outdoor Industry Association to add motorized recreation to an already in-process, non-motorized outdoor recreation study being done by OIA.
“The MIC has long known the enormous economic benefit that motorized recreation contributes to the U.S. economy,” said ROHVA Executive Vice President Paul Vitrano. “But to have these numbers available to validate this will be of extreme value. We are particularly pleased that we could partner with the non-motorized community and WGA to produce comprehensive data on the contribution that the entire recreation community provides to the U.S. and state economies, and we look forward to continuing this cooperative effort.”
The full report released at the WGA meeting is titled “A Snapshot of The Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation,” and can be found on the WGA Web site at www.westgov.org/reports.
According to MIC Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Kathy Van Kleeck, the MIC will soon release information specific to the motorized recreation sector, and the WGA and the outdoor recreation industry partners will release state-by-state data later in the year. “The state-by-state information will be particularly useful in our government relations efforts to promote motorized recreation and advocate for off-highway vehicle opportunities,” said Van Kleeck.
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org
The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America promotes the safe and responsible use of all-terrain vehicles through rider training, public awareness campaigns and state legislation. Additionally, the SVIA works to preserve access to off-road lands and expand riding opportunities. The SVIA is a resource for ATV research, statistics and vehicle standards. Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the SVIA develops standards for the equipment, configuration and performance requirements of ATVs. Based in Irvine, Calif., the SVIA is a not-for-profit industry association sponsored by Arctic Cat, BRP, Honda, Kawasaki, KYMCO, Polaris, Suzuki, Tomberlin and Yamaha. Visit the SVIA online at www.svia.org. For safety information or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourseSM nearest you, visit www.atvsafety.org or call (800) 887-2887.
The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) is a national industry organization that promotes the safe and responsible use of ROVs. ROHVA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop equipment, configuration and performance standards. Based in Irvine, Calif., the not-for-profit association is sponsored by Arctic Cat, BRP, Kawasaki, Polaris and Yamaha. For more information visit www.rohva.org.