Economic Studies

This information comes from a number of different sources throughout the US and is a great source of
information on the economic impact of Off Highway Vehicles and motorized recreation has on the economy.

  • Off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation in Idaho is big business. Idaho OHV enthusiasts took close to 1 million recreation trips in Idaho during 2012 and spent about $434 million – $186 million on OHV recreation trips and $248 million on OHV capital expenditures such as the vehicles themselves.
    Of the $186 million that Idaho households spent for OHV trips, $84 million was for trips in the home county and just over $100 million was for out-of-county trips. Close to 76% of expenditures for out-of-county trips were made in the home county; the remaining 24% were made in the destination county.

    During August through November 2012, the University of Idaho in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) conducted a survey of off-highway vehicle (OHV) users about their recreation trips and recreation expenditures in Idaho. Assessing the economic footprint of Idaho OHV recreation is key in making decisions regarding OHV recreation funding for trail, park, and land management and informs Idaho decision makers regarding local OHV recreation.

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  • Off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation is big business in Idaho. In 2012, Idaho OHV enthusiasts spent $434 million in Idaho-$186 million in trip expenditures and $248 million in capital expenditures. They took close to 1 million OHV trips in Idaho that year. On average, each Idaho OHV household took 12 OHV-related trips, with a party size of just over four people. A typical OHV trip took close to three days.

    During the period August 2012 through November 2012, the University of ldaho, in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR), surveyed Idaho’s registered off-highway-vehicle (OHV) owners. The goal of the survey was to determine the economic importance of OHV use in Idaho during the previous 12 months. The survey sample was drawn from IDPR-registered OHV owners. OHV activities not related to recreation (e.g., work) and out-of-state visitors could not be sampled. Trips and expenditures for OHV recreation in Idaho would be higher if nonresident OHV recreation could be estimated.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-26

    Colorado offers unique opportunities for motorized recreation1 because of its vast terrain appropriate for off-highway motorized use. As such, the sport and industry of motorized recreation has increased in popularity in Colorado for both residents and non-residents. The Louis Berger Group, Inc. (Louis Berger) evaluated the economic contribution of motorized recreation in Colorado for the 2012-13 season2 and summarizes the results in this report.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-25Wilderness is one of the most contentious issues in American public lands management. Local officials often bemoan Wilderness designations as creating economic hardships by limiting extractive industries, outdoor recreation, and the siting of transportation corridors, water and power lines, and telecommunication facilities. In direct contrast, many environmentalists allege that Wilderness creates economic benefits for local communities through increasing property values and from benefitting the tourism industry. This study explores the economic claims by examining empirical evidence of identifiable differences in the economic conditions of Wilderness and Non-Wilderness Counties.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-21This Report reflects the concerted efforts of the OHMVR Division, along with partners at the city, county, and federal land manager level to provide sustainable OHV recreation throughout the state. The sustainability of off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation has also been made possible and greatly enhanced by the contributions from thousands of volunteers and stakeholders who are the backbone of OHV recreation. The Commission continues to support Division staff and all our partners in the continuous effort of promoting a positive and responsible OHV Program that has proven successful over the last 39 years.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-20In May 2008, a number of stakeholders in the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) industry called for a study of the economic benefits of OHV recreation and tourism in southeast Ohio. With support from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the American Motorcyclists Association, and the Hocking Valley Motorcycle Club, a team of researchers from Ohio University answered the call. Two surveys were administered as a part of this study. The first was an expenditure log used to determine the economic impact of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation and tourism in southeast Ohio. The second was a trail-use survey used to assess the level of consumer satisfaction with the available trail systems in southeast Ohio.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-07In January 2010, Ouachita National Forest managers announced the implementation of their travel management plan starting spring of 2010. The ruling eliminates most cross-country travel on established trails or through the forest, and it closes the Wolf Pen Gap trail system except for weekends and holidays from May 15th to September 15th. This study reports the findings from the brief examination of the potential economic impacts of the new trail usage regulations. After identifying the tourist industry that has developed around off highway vehicle (OHV) and all terrain vehicle (ATV) recreation in Polk County, the study reviews the nation estimates of tourist and travel expenditures associated with OHV and ATV use. The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism estimates of the impacts of travel on Polk County are also reviewed.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-01Colorado offers unique opportunities for motorized recreation throughout much of the state. This is mainly due to the vast amount of appropriate terrain for off-highway motorized recreation. As such, the sport and industry of motorized recreation has enjoyed an increase in popularity in the state by both residents and non-residents. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the economic contribution of motorized recreation throughout Colorado.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-02Much of the analysis presented here was based on a previous study completed by Hazen and Sawyer in 2001 titled Economic Contribution of Off-Highway Vehicle Use in Colorado. The Hazen and Sawyer study included a household survey that collected valuable information on where and when motorized, enthusiasts utilize their vehicles for recreation, average expenditures associated with recreational trips, and annual expenditures associated with operating and maintaining vehicles. The data and information on expenditures collected in that study was adjusted for inflation and used in combination with current data on the number of households that participate in motorized recreation in the State to estimate the total economic contribution of the sport in Colorado.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-16Despite a recent decline, during the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in sales and permit registrations for off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in Oregon. These vehicles include quads and three-wheel ATVs (Class I), dune buggies, sand rails, and 4×4 vehicles (Class II), and off-highway motorcycles (Class III). This report updates the 1999 OHV economic impact analysis, based on expenditure reported by a sample of OHV riders for the year 2008.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-05Using the data collected in the OHV owner survey questionnaire, a data set consisting of the county destinations of each trip from each county origin was created. Several econometric models were tested to determine the significant variables affecting choices of trip destinations by each origin. These models used travel cost, the percentage of public land open, limited (restricted to specific trails), and closed to off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, the existence of sand dunes, the existence of “red rocks” and a county-specific “dummy” variable. Results indicated that all of the variables were significant for each origin county, with the exception of the “county specific” variable, which was significant about half the time.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-08This report is provided to aid interested individuals and organizations gain access to statistics describing Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreational use and users in the United States. The source of these statistics is the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment. Text has been kept to a minimum. The focus is on tabulated statistics in the numerous tables within.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-10Riding OHVs is a favorite outdoor recreation activity for thousands of Iowans in all parts of the state. In 2007, there were 41,135 registered OHVs in Iowa in 29,663 households. This about 1.4 machines per OHV-owning household and is equivalent to 13.7 registered OHVs for every 1,000 Iowa residents. As a response to the number of OHVs registered in the state, the Iowa State OHV Association (IOHVA) is making a strong effort to increase the resources that Iowa’s state and local governments invest in multi-use recreational trails and improvements. As the state increases its promotion of recreational opportunities in Iowa, it makes sense to expand the development of year-round recreational trails. The IOHVA believes that this is good for Iowa and good for Iowa’s OHV users.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-13About 54,000 off-highway vehicles (OHVs) were registered in Montana during 2007. OHV owning households own an average of two machines and two family members usually participate in outings. Residents spend nearly all of their out-of-pocket trip costs for gasoline. We estimate that OHVers buy about 5.3 million gallons of gasoline per year. With a base tax of $0.27 per gallon, we estimate that OHVrs in Montana generate over $1.4 million in revenue for the state highway trust fund.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-11The Hatfield~McCoy Regional Recreation Authority, more commonly known as the Hatfield~McCoy Trail System, contracted with the Center for Business and Economic Research at Marshall University to prepare an evaluation of the economic impact of the trails system on the economy of West Virginia. From the time the trails first opened in 2000 until today, the Hatfield~McCoy Trail System have already become a major factor in the economy of the region and West Virginia. Tourism is the State’s third largest industry. The system has opened the depressed area of the southern coalfields to the economic opportunities which outdoor recreation offers.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-03The State of Wyoming instituted a mandatory off-road vehicle (ORV) permit program in 2002. The proceeds from permit sales along with a portion of the state’s gasoline tax revenue help fund the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, Division of State Parks and Historic Sites, State Trails Program (WSTP). The WSTP uses the permit money collected to establish and maintain trail systems, print maps and safety materials, and in working with interest groups and public land managers to coordinate its activities on behalf of trail users. In order to better serve trail users, the WSTP provided funding to the University of Wyoming, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics to conduct a broad-based economic assessment of ORV use in Wyoming.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-17In June 2005, the Cooperative Tug Hill Council commissioned Camoin Associates (CA) to conduct an economic and fiscal impact assessment of All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) activity in the Tug Hill Region. CA performed extensive research, conducted numerous interviews, and hosted focus group discussions with Tug Hill stakeholders to obtain quantitative and qualitative findings. CA, with the assistance from the Center for Community Studies of Jefferson County Community College, also conducted mail and trail intercept surveys to obtain information about ATV riders and their spending patterns. Preliminary results were presented to the public in September for feedback.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-22The Bureau of Business and Economic Research’s most recent surveys suggest that about 8 percent of the state’s households include snowmobile recreationists. Nearly always, the whole family participates. With an average household size of about 2.5, perhaps as many as 85,000 Montanans participate in the sport each winter. Nonresident snowmobilers are important contributors to the Montana economy. Virtually all winter visitors to Yellowstone National Park, for instance, use snowmobiles. This is true in part because the park’s internal roads are otherwise impassable to vehicles in winter. Perhaps more important, West Yellowstone has successfully promoted itself as “The Snowmobile Capitol of the World”.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-23All-terrain vehicle (ATV) sales and subsequent recreational riding has significantly increased in the United States and Minnesota. Both sales and participation are projected to continue significantly increasing thru 2014. To date, no Minnesota specific information on ATV consumers and their economic impact exist. Given the strong presence and projected increase in this activity, such information seems critical. This project assessed the economic impact of all ATV activity in Minnesota and profiled registered ATV riders.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-24Off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation is a popular and fast growing forest-based activity. As such it is important to understand the participants involved and their impacts to better manage for its use. While OHV use does generate negative impacts, such as sound pollution, adverse soil effects, and user conflicts, positive impacts also arise from this activity. This study evaluated economic impacts of OHV recreation at the Croom Motorcycle Area (CMA) in the counties of Hernando, Pasco, Citrus and Sumter of Florida. In addition, the study analyzed the motivations, desired settings, and opportunity for social interaction of OHV recreation at the CMA.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-15For the twelve month period between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and trailbiking travel parties had direct spending within New Hampshire of about $124 million, and direct and indirect spending of approximately $176 million. The total impact on the state’s economy (direct, indirect and induced impacts) of this traveler spending was approximately $318 million. Total direct spending by ATV/trailbiking travel parties was over 0.29 percent of the gross state product and was more than 2.3 percent of all traveler spending in the state. The average spending per visitor day by ATV/trailbiking travel parties was $60.12 for in-state travel parties and $46.40 for out-of-state travel parties. This average of these figures is lower than the $70.32 spent during this same time period by all travel parties in the state.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-18The All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) industry has witnessed changes since Honda introduced the first ATV in 1971 the three-wheeler. During the 1980s Suzuki was credited with introducing the first four-wheeler. According to the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), an ATV is defined as a four-wheeled motorized vehicle designed for a single rider; in more general terms, a durable vehicle used for work and recreational purposes. The ATV Safety Institute (a division of SVIA) reports that fifteen million Americans ride ATVs with 70% used for family recreation. Sales of ATVs have increased five-fold since 1993 to more than 847,000 units in 2002. The average age of an ATV owner is 40 and most are married; 90% are males; 43% have professional/managerial occupations and the median household income of an ATV owner is over $60,000.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-06Whether you enjoy exploring Arizona’s backcountry driving your truck, dirt bike or quad, or you prefer using your own muscle power to hike the trails, the following information may surprise you. In 2002, Arizona State University conducted a yearlong economic study of recreational off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in Arizona as part of the state’s OHV Recreation Program. Completed surveys included 15,000 telephone surveys and 1,269 mail questionnaires from randomly selected Arizona households.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-04Hazen and Sawyer was retained by the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO) to conduct an Ana~vsis of the Economic Contribution of Off-Highway Vehicle Use in Colorado. For purposes of this study, off-highway vehicle (OHV) use includes use of the following vehicles. (all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dirt or dual purpose motorcycles, snowmobiles and 4-wheel drive vehicles). This study focused on OHV recreation because this activity generates expenditures that contribute to the Colorado economy. The use of OHVs for work activities, particularly transportation to and from work, was not included in this study. If these vehicles did not exist, alternative transportation methods would be used and there would be no net change in economic activity within the state economy.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-19This study, authorized by the Pennsylvania Off-Highway Vehicle Association and the USDA Forest Service-Allegheny National Forest, was conducted to assess the impact that off-highway vehicle (OHV) users of Allegheny National Forest trails have on the economy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For purposes of this study, OHVs are defined as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and trail bikes.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-14The Nantahala National Forest, located in North Carolina (Figure 1), is managed for multiple uses that include hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, biking, and off-highway vehicle (OHV) driving. The Tellico River is also popular for angling on the North Carolina side of the state-line but is generally too shallow for whitewater paddling. Some OHV routes are now located within the Tellico River corridor in North Carolina.

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  • Econ-Study-Pic-12Have you ever wondered how much economic impact a trip by off-highway enthusiasts will have on the economy of the state or the region attended? There are five stages of costs involved — trip preparation, driving to the site, on-site costs, driving home from the site, and recovering from the trip. These costs include such items as meals, lodging, fuel, repairs, and other miscellaneous expenses. Once services and/or items are purchased, the money spent pays for salaries, increases tax collections, and increases profits. Money is then spent on other goods and services. This analysis attempts to quantify the economic impacts resulting from Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) activities.

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  • paiute-atv-trails-econ-studyThe Paiute ATV Trail system was established in 1990 with three major objectives in mind. #1. Provide ATV riders with a legal and enjoyable network of trails to ride. #2. Providing such a system will assist land managers in keeping OHVs out of those places where their use cannot be tolerated. #3. Provide economic base to the economy of participating communities. The main Paiute Trail is 250 mile loop through four central Utah counties. There are an additional 550 miles of designated side trails that make up loops and access into 17 participating communities. Each of the participating communities have designated routes giving riders legal access to community businesses. In these communities riders can access their support needs such as gasoline, restaurants, motels, repairs, groceries, etc.

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