Outdoor Recreation Industry Thriving in Alaska
Over 90,000 jobs generated, according to trade group
ANCHORAGE - It may come as no surprise to Alaskans but a new report says plenty of money is being spent in our state on outdoor recreation. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, a national trade group, people spend more than $9 billion to play in Alaska and over 90,000 local jobs are generated as a result.
Jack Bonney with Visit Anchorage says he isn’t surprised to hear that, he gets questions about what Alaska has to offer in the way of adventure, every day from tourists who are willing to pay.
“How can I dog sled?” said Bonney referring to a popular inquiry. “How can I get out and flight-see around McKinley? How can I go backcountry hiking or fishing? Obviously one of the strong suits for us in Anchorage is we that have all these things in very close proximity.”
But it isn’t just tourists who are willing to spend. Customers have been coming to Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking to buy their gear since 1974, and most of them are local. Over the years, manager Dan Arians said he has seen a shift in his customer base.
“There’s probably more of the 'enthusiasts' that we’ll see more now, opposed to people who would be called 'hardcores,'” said Arians. Arians said the outdoors has become more accessible and more locals are choosing to enjoy it. His sales have been steady in a state where recreation pays.