ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Governor Ralph Northam announced the opening of the Office of Outdoor Recreation to continue promoting outdoor recreation in the Commonwealth.
“Now is truly a great time to invest in the great outdoors. Outdoor recreation continues to be a core part of the American lifestyle. Outdoor recreation has proven to be a recession proof industry and a driving force in the American economy,” said Governor Ralph Northam.
The outdoor recreation industry brings in $22 billion to the Commonwealth annually, and employs more than 197,000 Virginians.
Virginia’s new state office will be lead by Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade Cassidy Rasnick. Agencies that currently promote outdoor activities across the Commonwealth will provide staff members to the new office.
Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in Thursday’s press conference, “Quality of life is often a key decision point for businesses deciding on their next location, and we want to leverage every asset in Virginia’s value proposition. Our diverse outdoor assets, combined with our ranking as the country’s Top State for Business, make Virginia the perfect place for new and expanding outdoor businesses.”
The office will launch an initiative to bring in manufacturers of outdoor products such as kayaks, bicycles and other gear.
Virginia is the 15th state to form this type of office, and the third on the East Coast.