A new study has found that rock climbers are a major economic force for the New River Gorge, a renowned rock climbing destination in West Virginia. The study found that climbers contributed $12.1 million in tourism dollars annually across a three-county region in WV.

Climber spending also supports 168 jobs in the region and contributes $6.3 million in wages. Climbing is a growing piece of the outdoor recreation economy in the United States.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, Americans spent an estimated $887 billion on outdoor recreation in 2017. The study was conducted with funding support from the Access Fund, New River Alliance of Climbers, and Eastern Kentucky University.