Editor's Note: This article is part of Inc.'s weekly report on business niches in partnership with financial information company Sageworks

With the economy on the upswing, U.S. consumers are spending more on leisure activities, from casinos to museums and theaters.  

Like many industries during the recession, the arts, entertainment and recreation industry saw sales decrease. Since 2010, however, this segment of the economy has seen positive and increasing sales growth.  While the industry faced declines in sales during the 12 months ending September 17, 2010, sales growth rebounded to more than 6 percent during the past year.  

Data from Sageworks indicate a similar improvement in the net profitability of the sector, with the exception of 2012. As of mid-September, the industry is retaining nine times more of its revenues as profit than it did during the comparable 2010 period.

“The arts, entertainment and recreation industry has experienced steady growth over the past four years as economic confidence and discretionary spending continues to increase," said Sageworks analyst Kevin Abbas.

"Historically, the industry has had razor-thin profit margins, but our latest data indicates the industry is experiencing elevated profit margins, a trend business owners hope will continue through the remainder of 2014 and into next year,” Abbas said.

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