Date of Award:

2001

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Dale J. Blahna

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to estimate statewide and local economic impact resulting from snowmobiling activities in Utah to gain a better understanding of preferences and opinions of Utah snowmobilers. The results will provide valuable information for snowmobiling management.

The survey instrument was designed to describe trip behavior, snowmobiling-related trip and annual expenditures, level of satisfaction with Utah snowmobiling opportunities, and demographics. A telephone survey was conducted with randomly selected households with registered snowmobiles during the period from April to June 2000. A 54.5% response rate yielded 373 usable completed questionnaires for data analysis.

For economic impact analysis, an input-output model was applied using IMPLANTM software using the Utah Cross Industrial Matrix in 1999. From the survey, statewide trip and annual snowmobiling associated expenditures data were estimated. Then output, value added, employment, income, and tax impacts were estimated using IMPLAN. For trip characteristics, level of satisfaction, and demographics, analyses were made using descriptive statistics for quantitative data and content analysis for qualitative data. The results indicate that average household per trip and annual expenditures were $126 and $2,932, respectively. About $53 million of reported expenditures created $34 million in local output impact. Total output impact was largest in the Wasatch Front and Mountain Lands planning districts and smallest in the Southeast and Uintah Basin. These results also indicate that the most popular snowmobiling area, Hardware Ranch, Monte Cristo, and Logan Canyon area in the Bear River planning district, had not necessarily received a large economic gain. The survey participants were moderately satisfied with snowmobiling facilities and services in Utah. However, there were still needed improvements in facilities and services, especially parking space availability and trail grooming.

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