Sinema, Daines Bipartisan Bill Boosts Arizona’s Recreational Tourism Industry, Protects Jobs

Apr 29, 2022

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced bipartisan legislation boosting Arizona’s outdoor recreational tourism industry and protecting jobs by making it easier for Arizona’s outdoor recreational outfitting and guiding services industry to hold multi-day tours and reduce operational costs.
“We’re boosting Arizona’s outdoor recreational tourism industry, fueling job creation, and expanding recreational opportunities across our state,” said Sinema.
“Thanks to Montana’s outfitters and guides, folks from all over the world come to Montana to hunt, fish and explore our great outdoors, and as a result, Montana’s outdoor economy is thriving,” said Daines. “It’s critical we pass my bipartisan bill to help protect Montana sportsmen jobs by cutting burdensome red tape that limits Montana workers and adds unnecessary burdens to Montana small business owners.”
“This bipartisan legislation could not come at a more important time for the general public who relies entirely on the professional services of the recreational outfitting and guiding community throughout the country. Inflation and costs are skyrocketing in nearly every aspect of our lives, especially to participate in seasonal recreational activities. Preserving access to the outdoors and keeping it affordable for everyone is essential. This bipartisan bill will help do just that.  It will also preserve jobs, support small businesses, and benefit rural communities. We are so thankful for the bipartisan leadership on both sides of Capitol Hill for making this possible,” said John Dillon, Executive Director of Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association.

The bipartisan legislation exempts outfitters and guides from burdensome overtime hour requirements. These requirements increase the costs of multiday trips and force outfitting companies to replace guides halfway through the trip whey they reach the 40-hour limit. When it is not practical to replace guides, companies may opt not to offer as many multi-day trips, negatively impacting Arizona’s tourism economy, especially in Northern Arizona.
Most guides work part-time during the summer season and are paid a daily rate and work several days in a row. Rules revolving around a traditional 40-hour work week do not appropriately fit the unique circumstances of backcountry guides. Sinema’s bipartisan legislation addresses this issue and makes outdoor recreational outfitters on par with similar industries, such as ski and seasonal amusement or recreation locations.
This Congress, Sinema cosponsored the bipartisan Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act – legislation that streamlines and improves the permitting process for outfitters, educational organizations, and community groups to enjoy Arizona’s public lands.
Arizona’s outdoor recreation is a $21.2 billion industry, producing $1.4 billion annually in state and local revenue. Many of the 201,000 Arizona jobs supported by the outdoor economy are in rural communities, where they often have significant economic impact.