When it comes to the outdoors, are you REI or Cabela’s?

rei vs cabelas 2

Am noticing a huge uptick in adventurous outdoorsy activities like mountain climbing (which may also explain why there are so many indoor climbing walls sprouting up). Jared Leto, who I follow on snapchat, is on a climbing jag (see pics above) and I covered Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington yesterday.

Hunting and fishing, on the other hand, are on the wane leaving more states in need of a rebrand to appeal to a new generation of outdoors enthusiasts. Michigan, for example, has seen fishing licenses decline 33% over the last 30 years, hunting is down 10% and over 200 golf courses have closed (too boring and time consuming for millennials). Michigan is beginning to promote itself as the “Sanctuary of the Great Lakes” offering stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking.

But it’s not just Michigan, states all around the country are taking their cues from more trend-forward western states like Utah, Colorado and Montana who have created government offices solely dedicated to promoting outdoor recreation. Utah led the way, in 2013, when Gov. Gary Herbert created the Office of Outdoor Recreation, dedicated to all aspects of outdoor recreation. He named Tom Adams, sales director for Petzl, a manufacturer of high-end climbing equipment, to head up the Utah office (Adams is also an expert mountaineer, skier and biker).

For more detailed information on this trend, check out this excellent piece by Ted Roelofs in Bridge Magazine.

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