• Montana’s outdoor recreation economy is a powerhouse, generating $7.1 billion in consumer spending and more than 71,000 jobs.
  • Montana residents account for more than half of outdoor recreation spending in the state.
  • Outdoor recreation and access to public lands strengthens community well-being and gives Montana a competitive advantage, helping to attract and retain businesses, families, and visitors.
  • The Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation recently was established to support the outdoor recreation economy in the state.

This report was produced for the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation. Below are some selected images showing the importance of Montana’s outdoor recreation economy. Read or download the full report or review the report’s references and data sources.

Montana’s Outdoor Recreation Economy

Montana outdoor economy: $7.1 billion
Helena’s South Hills trail system supports 60 jobs and $4.3 million in visitor spending annually.
Cross-country skiers
Residents and visitors spend $18.5 million on non-motorized winter recreation in the Yellowstone region, translating to $3 million in labor earnings.

Creating more than 71,000 jobs and generating $7.1 billion in consumer spending, outdoor recreation helps diversify our economy, improves our quality of life, and strengthens our community wellbeing.

For many Montana communities, access to year-round outdoor recreation in our shared public lands and water is an essential component of long-term economic development and community identity. As more residents and visitors are active in Montana’s great outdoors, stewardship of recreation assets requires investment of time, energy and money for healthier communities, economies, and people.

Outdoor Recreation Is Our Way of Life and an Economic Powerhouse

List of outdoor activities in Montana
Montana's quality of life is defined by out public lands.

Montana's tech industry pays twice the median wage

Montana’s Outdoor Recreation Contributions to States’s Economy

List of contributions by Montana outdoor recreation

Growth in Montana, compared to the rest of the nation

Where and How We Recreate in Montana Benefits Our Communities

Map of public lands in Montana
Montana outdoor-related jobs

Spending on Montana recreation acvtivities

Outdoor Recreation Benefits Montana’s Economy in Many Ways

People working and recreating outdoors
List of benefits from Montana outdoor activity

Publishing Note: A total of 3,600 copies of this public document were published at an estimated cost of $0.445 per copy, for a total cost of $1,602.00, which includes $1,602.00 for printing and $.00 for distribution. Contact the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation for more information.

Ray Rasker, Ph.D.

For more information about this topic contact:

Kelly Pohl