Economic Development

Economic development potentional Examples of towns where the unique outdoor recreation amenity is the trail system:

Fruita, Colorado

  • mountain biking pumped $1.5 million into local economy in 2004
  • sales tax revenues increased by 51% between 1999 and 2004, including an 80% increase in sales tax revenues from restaurants
  • in 2017 there was a 25% spike in revenue across all industries in spring and fall, when visitation highest

Boise, Idaho

  • Ridge to Rivers trail system adds $5 million additional tax revenue per year to City of Boise
  • $2.5 million to Ada County

Crosby, Minnesota

  • Expect $21 million in spending when the 75-mile Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System is complete
  • 15 new businesses since 2011, when trail system started

Copper Harbor, Michigan

  • 20,000 visitors per year to the 35-mile Cooper Harbor Trail System

NW Arkansas

  • $137 million in economic benefits from trail systems (both paved and natural surface)
  • higher than average trail use results in $86 million in annual health benefits
  • Bentonville sees $27 million annually in trail-related visitor spending (primarily for mountain biking)

Miami Valley, Ohio

  • $13 million annually on goods and services related to trail use on the extensive Miami Valley Bike Trail System

Pilot Hill Economic Potential:

The Laramie Mountain Bike Series averages 200 riders/each Tuesday night race. Racers range in age from 2-70+ years old. In 2017, 40% of racers were from Laramie, another 40% traveled at least 60 miles from somewhere in Colorado, and 14.5% were from Cheyenne (40 miles away).

From-town events on the Pilot Hill property represent enormous economic potential for our community.

Host towns of National Interscholastic Cycling Association High School races see an average economic benefit of $200,000/race. Laramie could potentially host a race as early as 2020.


Governor Mead’s Outdoor Recreation Task Force (ORTF) members agreed Outdoor Recreation (OR) can:

  • attract and retain skilled workers and the businesses that employ them
  • create a diverse economic engine to help stabilize and enhance WY and its communities
  • mitigate cyclical nature of boom and bust dynamics
  • provide mental, spiritual, and physical health and quality time for families and individuals
  • create livable communities and enhance social capacity by connecting residents to the outdoors
  • engage people in conserving natural landscapes and resources

ORTF felt WY recreationists, businesses, communities, and governments at all levels should:

  • support OR access and opportunities close to local communities
  • recognize the state’s scenic, wildlife, and rec resources as irreplaceable national treasures
  • reach out to outdoor associations and trade groups and include them in decision-making processes
  • recognize the link between OR and public health

There were 11 recommendations from the ORTF, but at the root of each recommendation is the need for each community to capitalize on their unique OR amenities.

Local example where the unique OR amenity is the trail system:

Curt Gowdy State Park

  • 2005: $100,000 in revenue with no trail system
  • 2011: almost $250,000 in revenue with trail system
  • 2008: park visitation doubled while it dropped in all other WY state parks