Project Brief: The Economic Impact of Mountain Bicycle Events in Oregon

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Place: Bend, Oakridge

Overview

This study found that mountain biking events in Oregon are popular, with a large proportion of overnight visitors who stay for several nights. While these events can generate a large spending infusion for local businesses, particularly in small communities, it is typically short-lived unless the event adds to visitation throughout the season.

Relevance

This information could be used to help justify local community support for mountain bike events, encourage other communities to develop similar events, or identify ways to increase the economic impact from related events.

Location

The study is based in Bend, Oregon (population 78,128 in 2013) and Oakridge, Oregon (population 3,210 in 2013).

Trail Type

The study evaluates the impacts associated with mountain biking events and tours.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to estimate the economic impact associated with four Oregon mountain biking events. It was supported by the Linfield Center for the Northwest and a Community Engaged Research to Classroom grant, and received assistance from Visit Bend, an organization promoting Bend tourism.

Findings

The average respondent spent $99 per day and their trip lasted 13 days.

Event Average spending per day Total expenditures Labor income impacts Employment impacts
Marathon $89 $213,200 $91,200 4
Mountain Bike Oregon $93 $1,231,200 $647,900 26
High Cascades 100 $92 $389,600 $168,900 9
Cog Wild tours $123 $765,400 $388,500 13

 

Methods

The authors obtained their data by inviting event participants to complete an online survey during the week following the event. The four events were: High Cascades 100 (Bend), Mountain Bike Oregon (Oakridge), Mountain Bike Marathon Championships (Bend), and tours with Cog Wild (Bend). Response rates for each event follow:

  • High Cascades: 178 respondents out of 320 participants (56%)
  • Mountain Bike Oregon: 237 respondents out of 1,015 participants (23%)
  • Marathon Championships: 63 respondents out of 243 participants (26%)
  • Cog Wild tours: 106 respondents out of 480 participants (22%)

Respondents were asked about the number of people in their party, how many participated in the event, how many nights they spent in the area, and expenditures in several categories. The authors eliminated from the sample local residents and, in the case of Cog Wild tours, participants who did not indicate that the tour was the primary reason for their trip.

Information on participants and expenditures by category (e.g., lodging, restaurants, event fees) were used as input into a regional economic model called IMPLAN. The author provides detailed information about the parameters used to generate these estimates. This model generated estimates of economic impact in terms of expenditure, employment, and labor earnings overall and by economic sector.

Citation

McNamee, J., K. Main, and K. Hashimato. 2013. Project Brief: The Economic Impact of Mountain Bicycle Events in Oregon. Linfield College Working Paper.