The Outdoor Recreation Economy
Outdoor recreation is essential to the American economy. Every year, Americans
spend $646 billion on outdoor recreation — on gear, vehicles, trips, travel-related
expenses and more. This creates jobs, supports communities, generates tax
revenue and helps drive the economy. Throughout America, people recognize
that outdoor recreation and open spaces attract and sustain families and
businesses, create healthy communities and foster a high quality of life.
Outdoor Recreation Generates...
in state and local
Communities around the country know that trails are good for business. They have
reaped the rewards as trail adventurers rely on small businesses, restaurants, local
stores, and lodging providers. Study after study demonstrates the many economic
benefits that come with trail development. Research has shown that a trail can bring
at least $1 million annually to a community, depending on how well the town embraces
Nationally, trail-related expenditures range from $1 to $75 per day, depending on
the trail mileage covered. For example, on the Junction & Breakwater Trail
, located between Lewes and Rehoboth,
49 percent of the users reported that their purchases of a bike, bike supplies,
footwear or clothing were influenced by their trail use. And, 53 percent said they
purchased soft goods in conjunction with a J&B Trail trip. This is good news for
A study of the basic economic impacts and trail users of the Junction and Breakwater
Trail is now available. The 6-mile long J&B Trail lies between Lewes and Rehoboth.
A survey of trail users was conducted during the peak visitor season - May 1 through
August 31, 2011 gleaned information on trail-related expenditures, usage patterns
and trail user information. Key findings: The trail directly generated an estimated
$114,167 from hard goods and an estimated $390,645 from soft goods during the peak
49.6 % of survey participants reported that they had purchased at least one hard
good item (bike, walking shoes). Their purchases directly related to trail use average
53% of survey participants reported that they had purchased at least one soft good
(food, beverage). Their purchases averaged $18.34 in conjunction with their most
recent use of the J&B Trail.
61.5% reported ages between 46 and 65. 11 percent reported being 65 or older, 27.5
percent under 46.
70% reported using the trail during both the weekend and weekdays.
Trail trips ranged from 30 minutes and 2 hours.
The average user bikes to the trail.
About 81% of trail users are bicyclists with the remainder of users split between
joggers (10.8%) and walkers (7.9 %). Less than 24 percent of survey participants
reported to driving to the trail.
The average trail user makes an estimated 13.8 trips to the trail during the course
of the year.
For more information please see the Junction
and Breakwater Trail 2011 Trail Use Study and Economic Analysis