Study: Billions spent on hiking, skiing in Washington state

SEATTLE (AP) — A new state study finds that people in Washington spend nearly $22 billion each year hiking, skiing, boating, golfing, and in other outdoor pursuits.

The report released Thursday estimates that residents spend on average about 56 days a year in outdoor recreational activities. And they spend money while doing so — on hotels, recreational equipment, food and other items.

About $12.5 billion benefited local economies, while the remaining dollars were transferred to out-of-state producers.

Out-of-state visitors account for 27 percent of dollars spent.

The study says nearly 200,000 jobs are supported by money spent on outdoor recreation. It says outdoor recreation markets play an important role in moving money from urban to rural areas and creating jobs in those rural areas.

The report was ordered by the state Legislature and commissioned by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.