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New Hampshire has appointed its first director of outdoor recreation

The state’s Department of Business and Economic Affairs named Scott Crowder as the first director of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development.


The state of New Hampshire has taken an important step in prioritizing its growing outdoor economy by appointing the first director of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development (ORID).

On Thursday, the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) named Scott Crowder to this key post, where he will lead the nation’s 16th office of outdoor recreation (OREC). ORID was established in October 2019 to support New Hampshire’s diverse and growing outdoor economy. As the director, Crowder is charged with building the state’s outdoor workforce and attracting new outdoor industry businesses.

Scott Crowder headshot
Scott Crowder has been tapped as the first director of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development for the state of New Hampshire. Photo: Courtesy

“New Hampshire’s outdoor economy plays a critical role in the state’s development strategies,” said BEA Commissioner Taylor Caswell. “Scott’s entrepreneurial experience in the outdoor industry is exactly what we need to launch the new state office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development and accelerate the potential of the state’s outdoor recreation assets.”

Read more: The rise of state outdoor recreation offices

In addition to founding the North American Pond Hockey Classic, Crowder’s professional background includes serving as principal of Ekal Consulting and as a founding partner of Ekal Activity Center in Meredith, New Hampshire. He also has served on various tourism, economic development, and nonprofit boards around the state.

“I’m honored and excited to be named the first director of outdoor recreation for the state of New Hampshire,” Crowder said. “We have an amazing opportunity in the state to leverage our outdoor assets to enhance the lives of our residents and visitors, our communities, and our overall economic position. I look forward to working with individuals and organizations across the state to balance the conservation and stewardship of our natural assets while promoting and developing the unique outdoor recreation offerings we have in front of us.”

With this hiring, the Granite State, as New Hampshire is known, is looking to further build its outdoor industry cred. New Hampshire’s outdoor economy currently generates 3.2 percent of the state’s GDP. It accounts for 38,000 jobs, $1.3 billion in wages, and $528 million in state and local taxes, according to the newly formed Granite Outdoor Alliance, which “works to unite the ecosystem of outdoor enthusiasts across New Hampshire to protect yet grow an experience-driven lifestyle.”