Data* released by Snowsports Industries America (SIA) shows that winter outdoor consumers are responsible for over $79 billion in spending and support 799,000 jobs.

The data shows that between 2016 and 2019, consumer spending in the winter outdoor industry grew 9.5 percent from $72.7 billion to $79.6 billion. Jobs supported by the industry grew from 695,000 in 2016 to 799,000 in 2019, a 15 percent increase. These numbers provide a pre-COVID baseline by which the organization hopes to understand better the impacts of the pandemic on the winter outdoor industry beginning in March 2020.

This data will also be a component of its advocacy efforts in the future, proving that the winter outdoor industry is “truly an economic engine,” with actual data showing what’s at stake as the impacts of climate change are realized.

“Today’s update shows that the economic contribution of the winter outdoor community to the U.S. economy is very strong. This, combined with the strong retail sales from last year, makes me optimistic on the overall strength of the industry as we navigate the pandemic,” said SIA’s president Nick Sargent.

*SIA researchers built on the 2016 research conducted by Southwick and Associates, adjusting expenditures for inflation and participation for population growth, using its 2019 Implan data set. The data includes spending on winter outdoor gear, accessories, all trip-related expenses, and vehicles. Winter outdoor is defined as spending on alpine skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and telemark skiing.