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Research: Mountain biking boosts rural Oregon economies

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
MTB Oregon
Research shows that the three-day Mountain Bike Oregon event pumps $1.2 million into the Oakridge economy.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)


State embarks on effort to quantify Oregon’s bicycle industry

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Bicycle frame and component manufacturer
Chris King Precision Components employs over 100
people in northwest Portland.
(Photo: Chris King Precision Components)

Earlier this month we learned that bicycle-related travel pumps $400 million into Oregon’s economy each year. Now Travel Oregon, the state’s tourism development and marketing organization, has embarked on the second part of that research project: a comprehensive look at the economic impact of bicycle-related industry.

Travel Oregon released the Bicycle Industry Survey yesterday to begin data collection for the study. Here’s more from them from the email announcement:

The bicycle industry in Oregon is a unique and growing part of our economy. To get a better handle on the size, characteristics and growth of this industry, a research project has been launched to gather current data that is not available from any existing sources.


‘Scenic Bikeways’ help power Oregon bike tourism to $400 million annual impact

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

It’s been another big momentum-building week for bicycle tourism in Oregon. Yesterday, during a special hearing on bicycle tourism at the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee in Salem, representatives from Travel Oregon released a major new report on the economic impact of bicycle-related travel. Also yesterday, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department named two new Scenic Bikeways.

The Travel Oregon study, The Economic Significance of Bicycle-Related Travel in Oregon Detailed State and Travel Region Estimates, 2012 (PDF) is the same study we gave you a preview of back in March when preliminary findings were released at the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C..

The study was conducted by Dean Runyan Associates and it looked at bike tourism’s impact throughout the state during 2012. The big number — which garnered a headline in The Oregonian and has been adjusted up since our story in March — is $400 million. That’s how much people “involved in bicycle-related activities” spent in Oregon last year. The data was gleaned from an online questionnaire followed up by interviews with selected households. All told, 5,000 people who rode bikes in Oregon last year took part in the study. (more…)

Portland Biz Journal editorial: “Bicycling serves as economic tool”

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

A reader just made me aware of a recent editorial in the Portland Business Journal that deserves wider attention.

Given the fact that there remain some powerful business interests who feel that Portland’s inevitable march toward better bike access on our roads is at odds with their bottom lines, the PBJ editorial board stood up and blew that idea out of the water. (This is especially great to see from the PBJ because when the Bike Plan for 2030 passed in February 2010, I called them out for a misleading poll.)

In a piece titled “Bicycling serves as economic tool” that appeared in the July 6th edition, the paper makes a compelling argument for why bikes are not only good for business, they’re key to Portland’s economic future. The article is behind a paywall, but a reader was nice enough to send me the hard copy so I can share more of it with you. (more…)

Report will assess bicycling’s economic impact in Oregon

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
Oregon Bike Summit afternoon sessions-22.jpg
This “wish list” was created at the 2008 Oregon Bike Summit.
(Note the top thing on the list!)
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

As Oregon’s bicycle tourism movement has matured over the past 4-5 years, one thing proponents have been clamoring for is a comprehensive study that measures the impact bikes have on our statewide economy. In order to get more political respect for bike tourism and bicycling in general, the thinking goes, advocates must be able to prove what we all know to be true in theory — that Oregon reaps an immense economic boost from bicycles and the people that ride them.

I’m happy to report, that such a study is in full swing. Travel Oregon, who is spearheading the project, has also just released an online survey that will play a key role in the project.

According to Kristin Dahl with Travel Oregon, there are two main components to the study: One of them will look at bicycling’s economic impact from a recreational and tourism perspective; the other will quantify Oregon’s bicycle manufacturing and retail industries. (Note: The study will not assess the economic impact of riding for transportation.)

Here’s more from the project’s scoping document: (more…)

Outdoor Industry report says recreational cycling pumps $81 billion into U.S. economy each year

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

“Americans spend more on bicycling gear and trips ($81 billion) than they do on airplane tickets ($51 billion).”
—The Outdoor Recreation Economy, 2012

The Outdoor Industry Association just released their annual report on The Outdoor Recreation Economy. The report looks at spending on gear and travel for all the major outdoor activities and also calculates the “ripple effect” that spending has on the economy.

Bicycling is one of ten “activity categories” analyzed in the report (along with camping, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, off roading, snow sports, trail sports, water sports and wildlife viewing.)

According to the report, Americans spend more on bicycling gear and trips ($81 billion) than they do on airplane tickets ($51 billion). That $81 billion is spread between $10 billion on bikes, gear, and accessories and over $70 billion on bicycle “trip related sales.” The direct economic impact of that spending supports 772,146 jobs. The report claims that the “ripple effect spending” of all this bicycling activity is over $198 billion and supports 1,478,475 jobs. (more…)

Summer reading: Economic benefits of bicycling

Friday, July 1st, 2011
Summer bike traffic-10-10
An economic engine.
(Photo © J. Maus)

When you’re trying to save the world, who has time for romance novels and gossip magazines? If you’ve got some spare time over the long weekend or on your summer vacation, consider brushing up on the economic impacts of bicycling.

At Metro’s Quarterly Trails Forum earlier this week, Alta Planning and Design CEO Mia Birk made a presentation about the economic impact of trails.

After the meeting, Metro staff circulated a five-page handout titled, Economic Benefits of Bicycling Resources. The list was compiled by Alta (or at least it was on their letterhead). (more…)

Beyond ‘bikes vs cars’: Four secrets buried in the new Census stats

Friday, October 1st, 2010

This guest post is by Michael Andersen of Portland Afoot, a new “10-minute newsmagazine” and wiki about low-car life in Portland.

The Joy of Sects Ride - Pedalpalooza 09-9
Photos © J. Maus)

The official U.S. Census numbers for 2009 came out Tuesday, and as BikePortland reported, they held the latest evidence that the phenomenal growth of local biking has been leveling off. (more…)

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