Idaho Press Tribune | firstname.lastname@example.org
BOISE — From skiing down a mountain to rafting down a river, Idaho is full of varied terrain and residents who love to have fun in it.
The state is also full of companies that provide goods and services to accommodate that lifestyle. They are part of the recreation technology (rec tech) industry, an industry local economic developers hope to see thrive, because, they say, it’s a natural fit for the state.
“We really believe Idaho is the ideal place for these companies, because they can test products right in their own backyards,” Megan Ronk, chief communications officer for the Idaho Department of Commerce, said.
The Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP) has identified rec tech companies in the Treasure Valley and Sun Valley that it plans to help incubate and use as success stories to attract more business to the state in the future, BVEP executive director Clark Krause said...Continue Reading Here...
Below is another exceprt from the article:
A NATURAL FIT
Krause said Idaho’s outdoor lifestyle is why many rec tech businesses are here — it’s a natural fit for them.
“All you have to do is go outside and you’ll see people cycling, hiking and fishing,” he said.
Not only are recreational opportunities available in Idaho, he said, but they are also more affordable to use than in other states, which gives Idaho an advantage.
The state is touting those advantages to prospective companies looking to expand here.
“It makes sense where we’re going to be successful in attracting new businesses to the state is where we have natural strengths and a competitive advantage for companies to be here,” Ronk said.
When AIRE Inc., an inflatable raft and kayak company based in Meridian, wants to test a new product, it doesn’t have to go far, Chris Callanan, the company’s sales and marketing director, said. The Boise and Payette rivers provide great locations to see how the company’s work turns out, he said.
The local workforce provides another advantage to the company.
“There are people here that want to work hard and who also enjoy the outdoors,” he said.
Glen Eberle, owner and founder of Eberlestock in Boise, which makes rifle stocks, packs and high-performance gear, agrees.
“It’s a great fit in terms of locale, in terms of finding people who care about it and in terms of the lifestyle we ourselves have here,” he said.
DAHO RECREATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY
$ 154 million in annual tax revenue for Idaho
$ 2.2 billion in retail sales per year
37,000 Idahoans employed in the rec tech sector
12 percent projected industry growth compared to 2 percent nationally
2.5 jobs created elsewhere in the economy for every 1 rec tech job
Source: Boise Valley Economic Partnership; Idaho Department of Commerce