Outdoor industry is big business in Massachusetts

$16 billion generated by state's outdoor recreational economy last year

GRANVILLE, Mass. (WWLP) – Outdoor recreation is a thriving business here in western Massachusetts, adding many jobs and dollars to the economy.

Business has never been better at the Prospect Mountain Campground in the western Hampden County town of Granville. The Outdoor Industry Association estimates that nearly 60% of Massachusetts residents will take part in summer outdoor recreation.

Charity Baldwin and her daughters spent time at Prospect Mountain three times this summer.

“It’s fun, but it’s also peaceful and quiet. So, you have a little bit of both,” Baldwin said.

Other campers have traveled longer distances to spend time enjoying the outdoors in western Massachusetts. Stephanie Ely has come all the way from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

“I couldn’t have picked a better campsite. It’s amazing; they have so much to offer, and the kids have so much to do,” Ely said.

Having so many vacationers from far away visiting western Massachusetts for a camping getaway is apparently the rule, rather than the exception, according to Prospect Mountain manager Greg Hayes.

“Far out west in California, people come from Texas, we’ve had people come very recently from Canada, we even have people from overseas- from England and Germany,” Hayes said.

That is not surprising, when you consider Massachusetts’ outdoor recreational economy last year generated more than $16 billion.