Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Research into Action: The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Research into Action: The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Article excerpt

The following example of determining economic impact through secondary data analysis outlines the steps required to complete the process. Many agencies who wish to estimate the economic impact of proposed development projects or special events can follow this outline to complete their own outline.

Recently, an economic impact analysis for three trail development alternatives at the DWGNRA was required as part of a larger environmental impact assessment. Time constraints precluded the opportunity to collect original data from visitors. Most existing data on park visitors focused on river use. Very little data existed concerning the potential behavior of trail users in the area. It was necessary to project economic impacts with very little existing data and no new data collection.

Extrapolating secondary data from outside sources was selected as the method to approach the problem. This process included three distinct stages:

1. Examining economic impact studies conducted on trails in similar environments

2. Determining the average per-person expenditures for different types of trail users

3. Applying the expenditure figures to the estimated trail users at the DWGNRA to estimate the total economic impact of various alternatives

These steps were followed to yield the following results:

* Nine economic impact studies presenting findings at 34 separate trails contained per-person/per day spending figures. …

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