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Outdoor Businesses Return With A Vengeance in First Quarter; Is Your Business Ready for Growth?

"A year after the pandemic decimated their top and bottom lines, publicly traded outdoor companies are posting blowout quarters to begin 2021," a recent report from the Outdoor Industry Association reports. 

This is great news for McDowell County as we move forward with investing and enhancing our own outdoor economy including the Fonta Flora State Trail and Old Fort G5 Trail Collective. According to the reports, most companies saw revenue gains in the double digits and are experiencing favorable comps for the first time in a year. 

As more people are getting vaccinated and Covid-19 numbers are leveling out, we're seeing an increase in the use of our outdoor spaces and amenities which flows into other businesses. Outdoor enthusiasts fuel up before and after their adventures at local pubs and restaurants, buy gear and supplies at our retail stores, and put heads in beds in our lodging facilitiesFlavors on Main sells outdoor gear and equipment for hikers and fishermen.

This groups produces $887 billion in consumer spending creating 7.6 million American jobs and generates $125 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue. With our incredible natural resources such as Lake James, the Pisgah National Forest, the Catawba River, our county is primed to build and guide this powerful economic sector in a way that protects the land at the same time. 

Studies show that spending time outdoors elevates our desire to take care of nature. Those that enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, hunting, trail sports, water sports, wheel sports, snow sports, and wildlife viewing are more apt to respect their own playground. 

We'll begin seeing more stores expand such as Flavors on Main General Store  and open to provide outdoor gear and supplies as this area continues to grow its outdoor economy. The city was recently named the number one place Where Americans Are Buying Vacation Homes: Travel and Leisure magazine and will surely attract more folks longing for adventure, and open spaces.

You can view the Hillman Brewery in Old Fort welcomes the four-legged friends and offers a great place to refresh with a cold one. complete Outdoor Economy Report and make a point to consider its impact when planing and operating your business. Consider how can you serve this demographic by adding a service or product to your business? Even small things, such as adding a watering hole just for the pups will make an impression and provide the right hospitality our community. 

To learn more about the local outdoor economy and on how your business can prepare and plan for the growth, contact the Chamber at or call 828.652.4240.

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