filed under: economics of trails
Prepared by Christiaan Abildso, Jessica Coffman, and Thomas Bias
This report summarizes a study of the business impact of the Mon River Trails System. A network of 48 miles of trails in north central West Virginia that has been in operation in‐whole or in‐part since 1998.
The findings from our work are applicable for many audiences, including trail advocates, elected officials, economic development entities, and business owners with trail usage patterns and sociodemographic profile that are like the MRTS and the surrounding area in two ways. First, the MRTS is a local transportation and recreation hub, not a tourism‐driven trail. Second, the geographic area of study is a densely populated rural core city with a well‐educated population and predominantly white‐collar employment.
A key lesson from our work is that trail development can be a double‐edged sword ‐ it has economic benefits to localities and businesses, but can cause such demand that it creates a barrier to trail‐oriented development, especially for small businesses. A locality should not ask “if” a trail will bring economic activity, rather it should plan for “how much” and “what type” of economic activity a trail will bring.
Published April 2017
The future for outdoor recreation. To continue building a robust future for outdoor recreation, the outdoor sector needs investments in outdoor infrastructure, businesses that support collaboration and sustainable growth, a talent pipeline to build a skilled workforce, and marketing resources that ensure quality and equity.
San Jose is developing a 100 mile trail network! View the handout!
This study builds on previous NRPA research on the economic importance of local park and recreation agencies by exploring the role that quality park amenities play in 21st century regional economic development.
This 1997 paper estimates the value of a relatively new form of recreation: mountain biking. Its popularity has resulted in many documented conflicts, and its value must be estimated so an informed decision regarding trail allocation can be made. A travel cost model (TCM) is used to estimate the economic benefits, measured by consumer surplus, to the users of mountain bike trails near Moab, Utah.