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How the Winter Holidays Affect the Outdoor Recreation Industry

December 5, 2022
How the Winter Holidays Affect the Outdoor Recreation Industry

Winter Outdoor Recreation Trends and Data for 2023

While more people might opt to vacation locally rather than internationally this winter due to cold weather, the uncertainty of fuel prices, and supply issues throughout Europe, the outdoor recreation industry will still see an increase in business throughout the country. There is a projected trend in renewed appreciation for outdoor recreation, and since the start of the pandemic in 2020, around ⅔ of Americans have pursued outdoor activities with increased interest and dedication. This winter, we expect ski resorts, chalets, and cabin rentals along the East Coast and other cold weather areas to be more popular than ever before.

How Employment Affects Winter Outdoor Participation

With more people working from home or having increased flexibility in vacation scheduling, it’s easier than ever before for them to seek out adventure travel and outdoor recreation during their vacations. More than 65% of the white-collar workforce is still working remotely, giving outdoor enthusiasts more time to plan and take part in increasingly elaborate outdoor adventures. People across the United States are also becoming more intentional about taking time away from work and have grown more used to the idea of seeking unique outdoor activities to enjoy with friends and family. 

Increased Desire to Travel

Even with pandemic restrictions lifting, many Americans still feel compelled to get out of the house and take part in physical activities outdoors. They are willing to travel great distances across the U.S. in order to experience new things, take part in unique adventures, and see the beauty of the great outdoors. Whether they plan on flying or driving, they are committed to accessing winter outdoor activities like snowboarding, skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing. 

Demographics of Winter Recreation Participants

In order to effectively market your winter outdoor activities, it’s crucial to know your target demographic. For instance, trail runners describe themselves as more adventurous, physically fit, and competitive than other outdoor enthusiasts, while hikers describe themselves as casual outdoor participants, environmentalists, and sustainability experts. It’s also important to take note of which ethnicities, cultures, and socio-economic statuses tend to participate more heartily in outdoor sports. Gen Z is the generation with the highest participation in outdoor sports, while the lowest participation is the Baby Boomer generation. Winter sports participants tend to be college educated, male, between 25-34 years old, white, and earning $75k+ per year. 

Winter Sports by Region

The Pacific Northeast has the highest number of winter sports participants of all regions in the U.S., with the South Atlantic, East North Central, and Middle Atlantic close behind. The area with the least amount of participation is East South Central. The Pacific Region has more snowboarders than any other region, while Vermont, New Hampshire, Idaho, Maine, and Colorado have the highest percentage of skiers. 

Crossover Activities

Winter sports have a high incidence of crossover activities with other outdoor activities; for instance, people who love snowboarding, sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice hockey also tend to like running, hiking, camping, bicycling, and fishing. For indoor exercise, they tend to favor walking, treadmill, dumbbells, elliptical, and high-impact exercise.

Economic Impact

For U.S. regions with high participation in winter outdoor activities, the outdoor recreation industry is a top driver of their economy. In fact, winter outdoor recreation drives significant economic activity across diverse economic sectors. Businesses affected include gear manufacturers, hospitality and accommodations, graphic artists, local restaurants, and retailers. In regions like the Pacific Northeast and East North Central, access to winter outdoor recreation activities and an outdoor lifestyle attracts long-term residents as well as visitors, and helps draw in entrepreneurs, business owners, and experienced employees.

Stay On Top of Winter Trends in Outdoor Recreation

If you’re interested in staying on top of winter trends in outdoor recreation, stay in touch with our experts at Advanced Outdoor Solutions. At Advanced Outdoor Solutions, we do that work for you by researching, analyzing, and presenting the latest trends and data in outdoor activities. 

We also offer those in the industry land planning, design, development, and turnkey third-party management solutions throughout Delaware, DC, and SW Florida. To learn more about these services, contact us today at 1-800-579-9796 or contact us online.