Outdoor Recreation and Asset-based Economic Development * (ADDITIONAL HANDOUTS AVAILABLE - CLICK HERE)

Tuesday, May 4, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Target Audience
Advocacy Groups, Downtown Developers, Financiers, Management Companies, Main Streets, Municipalities, Nonprofit/for-profit Developers, Realtors

Michigan is a great place to live, play and get outdoors. The outdoor recreation economy also contributes more than $10.1 billion each year to our state, supporting 123,569 direct jobs and $4.7 billion in annual compensation. From the invention of the snowboard and the pop-up tent to the re-launch of the new Ford Bronco, Michigan has a legacy and opportunity in an outdoor industry that is booming and creating new business opportunities as more people find their way outdoors. With the right approach, Michigan’s four million acres of public lands, trails, rivers and shorelines also represent a full-force, four-season proving ground in a growing outdoor gear market driven by innovative designs and advanced materials. The Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office has been working with the Community Development team at MEDC to assist Michigan communities in inventorying and understanding their outdoor recreation assets and their potential economic benefits. Taking an asset-based economic development approach can help state agencies, regional leaders, and local communities better leverage their outdoor recreation resources as part of a more robust economic development diversification strategy. This approach encourages communities to identify and leverage their regional strengths to compete in arenas in which they have an advantage and are likely to succeed. It requires a bottom-up approach to asset identification in which communities take stock of their unique assets to determine the areas in which they can invest for the best economic, social, and environmental return based on their strategic recreational assets. As envisioned in the state’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, this session will equip participants to undertake an asset-based “evaluation of existing local, regional, and state recreational amenities; identification of areas of strength based on local assets; identification of gaps in local and regional outdoor recreation infrastructure that would enable communities to expand their economy if addressed; and targeting of investment and marketing efforts to attract residents, visitors, and businesses.”

CME Information
Handout 3
Handout 4