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Economic Benefits of Multi-Use Trails
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Economic Benefits of Multi-Use Trails

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  • 1. Economic Benefits of Multi-Use Trails
    How the Indian Head Rail Trail
    can Bring New Dollars to the
    community
  • 2. Types of Trail-related Economic Impact
    • Growth of tourism related businesses
    • 3. Positive impact on property values
    • 4. Value added in new business recruitment
    • 5. Decrease in health care costs to the individual and state and local government
  • This presentation will focus on trail-related tourism and its economic impact
    Meyersdale, PA trailhead for the Great Allegheny Passage
  • 6. Multi-Use Trails provide an opportunity for trail-related businesses to flourish
    The economic impact of rail trails can be seen in newly created businesses and expansion of existing businesses to accommodate increasing demand for services related to travel, tourism, equipment, and souvenirs.
  • 7. EXAMPLE:Mineral Belt TrailLeadville, CO
    In 1999, the mine near Leadville, CO closed down, resulting in high unemployment and economic recession.
    The community chose to redefine itself as a tourism destination and worked to convert an abandoned rail corridor into a multi-use trail.
    Following the trail’s opening , the city of Leadville, CO reported a 19% increase in sales tax revenues.
  • 8. Bike Shop along the Silver Comet Trail
    EXAMPLE:
    Silver Comet Trail, Georgia
    The Mayor of Rockmart, GA quote to to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
    “In the last 12 months we’ve had more tourists than in the last 30 years. Before, there wasn’t anything to bring them here.”
  • 9. Business located next to Cape Cod Rail Trail
    A 1993 survey: 38 businesses along the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Massachusetts found that 24 percent of the business owners cited the rail-trail as one reason they opened or acquired their business.
    60 percent of the businesses expanded their business and of those, one-half considered the rail-trail a prominent factor in this decision.
  • 10. Great Allegheny Passage connects Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA
    EXAMPLE:
    Great Allegheny Passage, MD and PA
    • 31 businesses started as a direct result of the trail
    • 11. In 2009, the trail generated $40 million in economic income.
    Trail user numbers have increased from from 150,000 in 2002 to more than 1 million in 2010
  • 12. Bed and Breakfast in downtown Meyersdale
    Meyersdale Mill Shoppes – former mill with 65 shops
    Trail-related businesses along the Great Allegheny Passage
  • 13. Trailside café and shops
    Hiker/biker hostel
    Trail-related businesses along the Great Allegheny Passage
  • 14. Demographics of the Multi-use Trail User
    Average age is 45
    Significant numbers of retirees
    college educated
    Average income well over $100,000 annually
    50% men/50% women
  • 15. Trail Users Prefer a Heritage Experience
    Trail users are looking for
    a unique experience that combines recreation, physical health, and an exploration of their American heritage.
    Surveys show they prefer to stay in bed and breakfasts or cabins. They are seeking an experience than cannot be easily replicated.
  • 16. All this is good news for Indian Head
  • 17. Indian Head’s OustandingAssetts
    Extensive history including Native Americans, War of 1812, Civil War, Naval base establishment
    Charming, small town atmosphere
    Village Green with Pavilion
    Indian Head Rail Trail
    Located along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail route connecting Woodbridge, VA to Pittsburgh, PA
    Mattawoman Creek and the Potomac River
    Mattingly Park
    Black Box Theater
  • 18. Small Towns like Indian Head appear to benefit the most economically from trails
    “The rural trail that passes through town centers may perhaps enjoy the largest economic impact of all the trail types. The rural trail tends to have fewer road crossings than the other trail types, following the course of a rail corridor that frequently skimmed the edge of a creek or farmer’s hedgerow….the rural trail that passes through or stops and ends in small town centers and becomes a focal point may appear to have greater economic impact...”
    --Excerpt from 2009 RTC study of 14 Mid Atlantic rail trails
  • 19. What will it take for Indian Head to reap the economic benefits?
    Good information, directions, and safe access to the trail
    A marketing strategy utilizing social media
    A bike/ped/visitor friendly atmosphere
    Visitor friendly businesses
    Utilization of partnership at all levels of the public and private sector
    Ability to respond quickly and effectively to a sudden opportunity
    Creativity and determination
  • 20. Indian Head Rail Trail - Endless Possibilities…