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New Mexico’s outdoor recreation economy


– New Mexico’s outdoor recreation economy is growing faster than that industry nationwide. The outdoor industry employs more than 35,000 New Mexico workers and accounts for $1.2 billion in total annual income. Since 2018, outdoor recreation income has grown 7.6% in New Mexico, compared with an increase of less than 4% for the nation.

Outdoor Recreation Division Director Axie Navas called the industry a “powerhouse” of economic potential but acknowledged the effects of the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 health crisis has hurt many of our businesses in this space — a fact not captured in this new tranche of data. It’s our job to aid in the recovery of the outdoor industry, so it continues to be a vibrant economic engine in the state,” she said in a statement.

The division earlier this year issued a survey to 128 outdoor recreation businesses in New Mexico. More than 90% of respondents said they lost revenue and/or had not been able to cover basic expenses because of the pandemic. Almost 78% of respondents were small, local companies with fewer than 15 employees.