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I Ling Thompson
Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry Applauds Bipartisan Support for Ski Area Recreation Bill
Boulder, CO (October 19, 2011) On Tuesday, S. 382, the Ski Areas Recreational Opportunities Enhancement Act, passed the Senate and will now go to President Obama for his signature. The measure passed the House unanimously and the Senate without objection — a demonstration of solid, bipartisan support for a measure that allows the USDA Forest Service to authorize year-round outdoor recreation on ski area lands leased by the agency.
“The outdoor industry applauds Congress for making it easier for Americans to recreate outdoors,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of the Outdoor Industry Association. “Ski areas have the infrastructure, staff and rental facilities to play a major role in providing ready access to winter and summer recreation on our federal lands. Legislation such as S. 382 encourages healthy lifestyles, supports rural economies and bolsters the growing outdoor recreation industry.”
Sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), the bill authorizes the expansion of winter recreation activities on public lands leased to skis areas, in addition to skiing, and now allows ski areas to develop and promote summer activities. Summer recreation on ski areas will afford ready access to established trails and roads for biking and hiking; base areas for larger events and competitions; and concentrate recreational uses on developed areas, lowering impacts on surrounding backcountry areas.
Year-round activities on ski areas will support sustainable, American jobs and bolster economies, particularly in rural communities where the areas are located. In Colorado alone, outdoor recreation drives $7.6 billion in annual retail sales and services; supports 107,000 jobs; and drives $500 million in annual sales tax revenues.
“Winter and summer recreation activities — everything from skiing and snowboarding to mountain biking and hiking to fishing and hunting — are economic drivers in rural communities,” explained Mark Satkiewicz, CEO of SmartWool in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. “Getting people active and outdoors is good for American waistlines, American jobs and our business.”
About Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry Association® is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information about OIA go to outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.