New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has signed legislation to establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development within the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA).

This legislation formalizes the state’s commitment to the businesses, natural assets and attractions that make up the outdoor industry, which employs nearly 38,000 people in New Hampshire and accounts for 3.3 percent of the GSP. Nationally, the outdoor industry is a $427 billion economic engine and New Hampshire wants businesses, organizations and individuals involved in this sector to find success in the Live Free state.

“New Hampshire’s low tax environment and booming economy are a beacon for business in the northeast,” said Sununu. “This office will allow us to better leverage the tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities we have here in the Granite State to not only grow the industry, but attract the workforce of the future.”

BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell shares that vision for the New Hampshire economy.

“As other states talk about leveraging economic development with tourism marketing in order to attract talent, we have been aggressively using this specific approach for two years here in New Hampshire,” he said. “When you live here, skiing a few runs or riding singletrack on a Thursday afternoon is part of your everyday life, and that’s something that is definitely appealing for our employers as they recruit a younger workforce.”

The new office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development is one more step in BEA’s efforts to increase alignment of industry, government and educational institutions in New Hampshire. With that alignment, New Hampshire leaders can combine resources and staffing to develop stronger, more strategic messages and campaigns to promote the state.

“New Hampshire offers the best combination of a vibrant and diversified economy with outdoor lifestyle on the East Coast,” said Caswell. “Whether you are visiting or moving here, our mountains, seacoast, lakes and trails provide a phenomenal and easy escape from the everyday and we should build on that to grow a healthy workforce and vibrant economy.”

The strategy is working and is one reason why New Hampshire has the highest rate of millennial population growth in the northeastern United States.

The director position will be posted soon after BEA formally sets up the newly created office in Concord. Additional responsibilities will include coordinating policy, management and promotion at the local, state and federal levels and promoting job growth through collaborating with a variety of businesses and economic development partners throughout the state.