Outdoor Industry, REI Commend Western Governors’ “Get Out West” Initiative

Jul 1, 2011

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and member company REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) praised the launch of a new initiative by the Western Governors' Association (WGA) titled “Get Out West,” which was announced at the association's annual meeting yesterday. The initiative was championed by new WGA Chair and Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire.

The goals of the initiative announced by Gov. Gregoire at the WGA annual meeting in Coeur d’ Alene, ID are to:

  • Highlight the importance of the recreational and tourism sectors of the Western economy;
  • Support efforts to boost recreation, conservation, healthy communities and tourism in the Western states by partnering with and putting a spotlight on existing successful efforts; and
  • Improve public policies that facilitate tourism, recreation and conservation in the West.

“REI commends Governor Gregoire for the exciting vision she is championing as the new chair of the Western Governors' Association,” said Sally Jewell, president and CEO of outdoor retailer REI. “The ‘Get Out West’ initiative brings much deserved recognition to the importance of recreation and tourism in the Western states and seeks to ensure continued growth in these activities for current and future generations. We look forward to working with the governors, Outdoor Industry Association and other partners to support this important initiative.”

In 2006, OIA produced the industry’s first economic study, which showed that active outdoor recreation increasingly fuels the U.S. economy and is a primary driver in regional and local economies across the country. The growth in activities such as hiking, paddling, hunting, fishing and wildlife watching contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S. economy, drives $289 billion in retail sales and supports 6.5 million jobs.

“We believe the impact of the recreation economy is just now beginning to be understood, and we are pleased to partner with the Western Governors’ Association to better understand this crucial economic aspect of the West,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of Outdoor Industry Association. “Our forests, parks, rivers and trails form the basic recreation infrastructure that supports sustainable jobs in rural and urban communities across the West. This initiative also creates a great opportunity to work with the Western states and other stakeholders in promoting activities, investments and policies that support this important economic engine.”

More information about the initiative is available at:

Get Out West Initiative Press Release


Get Out West Initiative Overview:


About Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous®, Outdoor University®, and the Capitol Summit. OIA is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information go to outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 181 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.