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Date: September 28, 2018
Farmington, NM: After the Farmington City Council adopted an Outdoor Recreation Industry Resolution earlier this year, the Mayor and Council have doubled down on their efforts to diversify the economy by envisioning and supporting the creation of an Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative (ORII) department.
The Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative was kicked-off 18 months ago to enhance the outdoor recreation offerings and experiences in the Farmington area for residents and visitors, and to unite the community in working together to attract more guides, outfitters, and outdoor equipment manufacturers. Initial partners included: The City of Farmington, the Farmington Convention and Visitor's Bureau, San Juan County, San Juan College, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Four Corners Economic Development, and Merrion Oil and Gas president, T. Greg Merrion.
While all partners will remain actively engaged, the City of Farmington is so committed to growing this vital new industry that its leadership has chosen to take the lead by creating the department of ORII, which will be led by former PRCA director Cory Styron.
“In an effort to follow through on our community’s call for economic diversification, and recognizing our growing identity as an outdoor lover’s paradise, ORII was created to promote our city by developing our natural recreational assets to attract outdoor recreation businesses, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and tourism,” stated Mayor Nate Duckett.
The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has identified the top categories that comprise the outdoor recreation economy. These activities include camping, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, off-roading, snow sports, trail sports, water sports, wheel sports, and wildlife viewing. The Farmington area can proudly offer all these experiences, in abundance, making our region the perfect place to design, build, and test all types of outdoor recreation gear. We are exceptionally capable of being both nature’s playground and nature’s proving ground!
City Manager Rob Mayes stated, “Our Mayor and City Council are dedicated to diversifying our economy through showcasing the Farmington area as a desirable retirement community, a burgeoning tourist destination where outdoor lover’s and active families thrive, and an emerging outdoor recreation mecca”. Newly appointed ORII director Cory Styron adds, “Our outdoor and cultural offerings in the region position Farmington to be the destination for outdoor lovers and active families to live, work, play and stay. This is truly an exciting time to be in Farmington and part of the community transformation.”
The outdoor recreation economy is strong and growing. It is the fourth largest US economic sector following Hospital Care, Outpatient Care, and Financial Services/Insurance. Outdoor recreation provides more jobs than any other industry in the USA. The Outdoor Recreation industry impacts the US and New Mexico economies through job creation and revenue. Supporting data corroborates this fact:
· $887 billion annual consumer spending
· $7.6 million direct jobs
· $65 billion in Federal Tax Revenue
· $59 Billion in State and local tax revenue
· $9.9 billion annual consumer spending
· $99,000 direct jobs
· $2.8 billion in wages and jobs
· $623 million in State and local tax revenue