Montana's Outdoor Industry Continues To Thrive - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana's Outdoor Industry Continues To Thrive

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BOZEMAN -

According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, the outdoor industry contributes over $2.5 billion a year to Montana's economy.

Mystery Ranch in Bozeman has been designing and selling backpacks since 2000. Some of their packs include packs for hunting, fire and rescue and the military.

"Half of the folks that walk through our door want to see what we're all about. The other half have a good idea of what they want," said Ryan Krueger, Mystery Ranch Customer Service.

According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, 34,000 jobs across Montana are supported by the outdoor industry.
 
"When I started about a year and a half ago, we had just over 80 employees and we've added about 20 in the last year," said Krueger.

The outdoor industry is one of the sectors economic leaders are focusing on. Now, a new outdoor industry association is being created to support the growing outdoor industry.

"We have such natural beauty. We would be silly not to take full advantage and help all of our companies grow," said Daryl Schliem, Bozeman Chamber of Commerce President/CEO.

Schliem said everyone in the northern region of Yellowstone National Park are all working together to help businesses succeed.

"We need to work together," said Schliem. "The co-op of working together is the biggest thing we can do."

Montana's outdoor industry produces nearly $2 billion annually in retail sales and services across Montana.

"I think the biggest thing is, when you're out there, is to promote to friends, family," said Schliem. "You may pay a little more for them, but I think you will find the quality of the workmanship done here in Gallatin County and the employee base here is well worth the extra $2."

An event is scheduled on November 14 to launch the Montana Outdoor Industry Association from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Baxter Hotel.

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