The Economic Impact of Spending by Snowmobilers on New Hampshire’s Economy

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Benefits studied:
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Place: Statewide

Overview

This study found that snowmobilers in New Hampshire spend $203 million per year in the state, and spend more per day than other travelers. However, winter sports like alpine and Nordic skiing have a greater proportion of spending from out-of-state residents, generating greater economic impact state-wide.

Relevance

This study would be of use for those interested in seeing the potential impacts of statewide snowmobiling. The study also demonstrates careful research practices: the authors compared their data to other data on snowmobiler spending, and revised their trip and spending profiles to reflect these other data. This practice of verifying primary data against other sources would increase the credibility of many trails studies by avoiding the potential bias associated with surveying particularly avid trail users.

Location

The study is statewide in New Hampshire.

Trail Type

The study addresses the 7,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails across the state.

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to estimate the economic impact of snowmobiling on the state’s economy. The study was sponsored by the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association and may have been intended to support efforts to obtain public funding to support snowmobile trail maintenance.

Findings

Residents spent an average of $79 per day, while non-residents spent an average of $114 per day. These results are consistent with other snowmobiling studies (see 565758, 60616263), and are higher than per-trip spending for all other recreational travel in the state.

On average, New Hampshire snowmobiling households spent 1.35 days per trip and took 8 trips per year, while non-residents spent 2.42 days per trip and took 5.7 trips per year.

Spending by snowmobilers on gas, food, accommodations, and other trip-related expenses totaled $203 million, which was 0.3 percent of gross state product in 2011.

Non-resident spending accounted for 43 percent of total spending by snowmobilers in the state. For comparison, 75 percent of total spending by alpine and nordic skiing comes from non-residents.

Methods

The authors mailed surveys to 3,000 New Hampshire snowmobile license holders, 62 percent of whom were from New Hampshire. A total of 1,088 surveys were returned (36% response rate). Respondents were asked questions regarding snowmobile use and spending and demographics. The authors verified responses regarding trips per household and spending per trip with other data from the Institute for New Hampshire Studies and U.S. Forest Service, and revised their spending and use estimates downward to reflect these other data.

Citation

Okrant, M. and D. Lee. 2012. The Economic Impact of Spending by Snowmobilers on New Hampshire’s Economy. Institute for New Hampshire Studies, Plymouth State University.