In the film City Slickers, Billy Crystal plays a New Yorker seeking relief from urban stress by driving cattle in the wild West. While the movie is a comedy, there's not much joking going on these days when it comes to adventure travel for aging boomers. Even though a quarter of the generation has already crossed the half-century mark, millions of boomers are still in their 30s. And adults between the ages of 35 and 54 (roughly the range of the boomer population) are 6 percent more likely than the national average to be involved in some type of sporting activity.1 So whether they're looking for adventure on the spring training field for the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Florida, or just taking it easy on the back nine while vacationing in the Carolinas, boomers are living up to their reputation that they were born to be wild.
Pack the Clubs
Indexed likelihood of persons aged 35-54 participating in the following activities while on vacation:
- Backpacking/hiking 143
- Tennis 139
- Run/jog 139
- Bike 131
- Golf 124
- Ski 116
Note: An index of 100 is the average of all U.S. households.
Top 5 adventure sports for boomers in 1998 by number of participants:
- Boating 9,038,000
- Mountain biking 6,594,000
- Inline skating 3,416,000
- Snorkeling 3,163,000
- Canoeing 2,497,000
Percent of sport's participants aged 35-54:
- Scuba 44%
- Snorkeling 43%
- Windsurfing 42%
- Sailing 42%
- Bow hunting 39%
Go Outside and Play!
- Percent of leisure trips made in 1995 for the purpose of outdoor recreation: 22%
- Percent of vacationers age 40+ who traveled for outdoor recreation: 40.3%
- Avg. distance traveled: 662 miles
- Percent who travel by car: 90.2%
- Percent who are male: 64%
- Average number of nights away from home: 3.6
- Percent of trips made between July and September: 36%
- Percent of travelers living in households with incomes over $75,000: 25%
- Percent of travelers with a college degree: 43.1%
Your Momma Wears Camouflage!
Percent of hunters and anglers between the ages of 35 and 54:
- Hunters 41%
- Anglers 35%
Old Dog, New Trick
Percent and number of hunters and anglers between 35 and 54 who fished or hunted for the first time last year:
- Hunters 2% (131,000)
- Anglers 4% (832,000)
Dream a Little Dream
The Dream Week organization coordinates five-day camps for professional baseball and hockey teams so their fans can live the life of a professional athlete for one week.
Average age of participants:
- Baseball 42.8 years
- Hockey 38.0 years
Percent of 1999 Dream Week participants who were women:
- Baseball 3%
- Hockey 2%
Cost of an all-inclusive five day, four night baseball or hockey session: $2,995
1) Mediamark Research Inc.
2) National Sporting Goods Association
3) Travel Industry Association
4) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, 1996
5) Dream Week Inc.