Summer Activities Are Reporting Record Sales For Outdoor Recreation Industry

Sep 3, 2020

Many segments of the outdoor recreation industry engaged in summer activities are reporting record sales, but that's tempered by substantial losses resulting from the beginning of the pandemic.

An industry call with reporters, sponsored by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, included a new survey showing the economic impacts, for good or bad, from the pandemic during summer 2020.

The survey showed "COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the outdoor recreation industry is showing signs of easing, with some turnaround from what was a devastating spring for the industry," according to an ORR statement.

The best news came out of the recreational vehicle, boating and motorsports manufacturers. Hardest hit: outfitters, including river rafting and those who do guided experiences, including hunting and fishing.

Scott Schloegel of the motorcycle industry council said that his industry, which includes manufacturers of motorcycles and off-road vehicles such as ATVs, hadn't yet recovered from the 2008 economic downturn. They also struggled early on this year from the pandemic as well as the tariffs resulting from President Trump's trade war with China. 

But that started to turn around when people began realizing that ATVs and other powersports are a "great way to social distance," as opposed to being trapped in a car, he said. Off-road sales are up 53%, and many dealerships reported record sales in May and June. People are taking advantage of logging roads and other state and federal trails. More often than not, he said he'll see a camper or RV with a dirt bike strapped to the back. "As a whole, there's an uptick in the industry," Schloegel said.

Check out the full article from Colorado Politics here.