In early 2020, Lander, Wyoming experienced a surge in visitors as people felt restless at home but also wanted to avoid getting sick. This led to an influx of outdoor enthusiasts seeking out activities in less populated areas, including the Wind River mountains.
Across the United States, the outdoor recreation sector has seen significant growth since the start of the pandemic. New data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that this sector contributed over $1 trillion in economic output in 2022. It has become a significant force in the economy, comprising 2.2% of the national GDP.
However, despite its potential for local economies, many rely on public lands maintained by federal workers. Concerns have been raised about the possibility of a government shutdown affecting these areas, which could have a significant impact on mountain towns like Lander.
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