Infrastructure Bill Could be Another Win for Industry

ben quiggle Sep 29, 2021

Infrastructure Bill Could be Another Win for Industry

By Ben Quiggle

It is hard to ignore the fighting that is going on among representatives on Capitol Hill at the moment as a historic infrastructure bill barrels towards a vote.

As I write this there is still a pretty good debate raging on whether it will even pass the vote or not.

The $1 trillion bill — yes, that is a lot of money — features a long list infrastructure-related needs that it would help support.

According to CBS News:

  • The bill would provide $110 billion to repair the nation's aging highways, bridges and roads.
  • $39 billion for public transit in the legislation would expand transportation systems, improve accessibilityfor people with disabilities and provide dollars to state and local governments to buy zero-emission and low-emission buses. 
  • The bill would spend $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, which the administration says are critical to accelerating the use of electric vehicles to curb climate change.
  • The legislation's $65 billion for broadband accesswould aim to improve internet services for rural areas, low-income families and tribal communities. 
  • To improve the safety of the nation's drinking water, the legislation would spend $55 billion on water and wastewater infrastructure.

The bill also points money towards other initiatives as well.

 For the outdoor hospitality industry, some of the aims of this bill are definitely a benefit. What do RVs travel on? Roads, highways and bridges. Of course, funneling money into those areas will benefit travelers and RVers.

There is nothing like driving or towing an RV down a smooth road. At least it ensures everything remains in your cabinets.

Broadband access is another key point of this bill that will benefit RV parks, campgrounds and glamping locations. Some of the main complaints I hear are from campers that can’t get good Internet service on the road and from frustrated park owners who want to do better but simply don’t have access to good Internet.

Hopefully, this bill would put a dent in that problem. Starlink is coming too…. fingers crossed.

Another main key component of this bill is aimed at giving electric vehicles (EVs) a boost. Major automakers are jumping on board to create EVs and more park owners are reporting that they are showing up at their parks — some with RVs in tow.

While I like the sound of a classic V8, I don’t like the cost at the pump or the wear on the environment. This EV technology is interesting and if they can figure out the towing issue, which they are working feverishly on, then investments in EV technology are going to be important at the federal, state and local levels. Even at the park owner level.

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is also getting behind this bill.

“This infrastructure package represents an extraordinary bipartisan opportunity to not only rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges and airports, but also to improve the infrastructure behind our beloved public lands and waters,” said Jessica Turner, executive director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “Meaningful investments in transportation, public lands, rural development, and natural infrastructure connect more people to the outdoors and strengthen the outdoor recreation economy, which creates jobs, helps us to remain globally competitive, and ensures we recover from the impacts the pandemic had on jobs, local communities, our health and our quality of life. We encourage Congress to advance bipartisan infrastructure legislation and look forward to working with Congress, the administration and their teams on any provisions that would provide needed investments to outdoor recreation.”

Combined with the Great American Outdoors Act passed last year, the outdoor hospitality industry is in a great position to see significant investments in infrastructure that could benefit travelers for decades to come — and hopefully trickle down to benefit park owners’ bottom lines as well.