Growth in Wyoming’s outdoor recreation industry helped buoy economy, state agency manager says

Fly fishing
Fly fishermen at Firehole River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (Photo: Phillip Rubino / Shutterstock)

By , The Center Square

Wyoming’s outdoor recreation industry played a part in keeping the state’s economy afloat during the pandemic, according to recent industry data.

report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that as the economy tanked during 2020, the outdoor industry’s overall contribution to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) went down slightly, but many sectors within the industry saw growth.

“That helped us, and it alone was enough to offset the general economic downturn we saw but it did help buoy things a bit – it was a mitigating factor if you will,” Chris Floyd, manager of the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation, told The Center Square.

“The trend for more visitor use on public lands and recreation is just going to keep going up over time as the population goes up – even just at that baseline – so we’ve got to get a hold of all the best management practices and all the investments we’re going to need to maintain a high level of use,” he said.


The Center Square is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on state- and local-level government and economic reporting.