BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicate that Montana outpaces neighboring Wyoming when it comes to recreation economies.
The Billings Gazette reports that using data from 2017, the analysis puts Montana’s total outdoor recreation value at $2.3 billion compared to $1.6 billion in Wyoming.
This is the first national report to drill into state-by-state recreation economies.
Rachel VandeVoort, director of the Montana office of Outdoors Recreation, said the state-by-state analysis is helpful in making decisions, such as investing in habitat, protecting public or private lands or contributing funding to new opportunities.
University of Wyoming economics professor Rob Godby attributes the disparity between the two states to Montana’s larger population and more urban areas, which means more businesses catering to hunters, anglers, skiers and bikers.