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Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact Study Presentation
December 12, 2017 - 12:00 am - 1:30 am
Where do Whitefish Trail users come from?
During the past year, Whitefish Legacy Partners and the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau partnered with Headwaters Economics to better understand the economic impact of outdoor recreation in our community.
As a part of this study, we learned about how visitors and locals use the Whitefish Trail and other outdoor recreation in the area. Except for peak summer tourist season, locals are the primary users of the Whitefish Trail. On average, 59 percent of trail users on the Whitefish Trail are from Flathead County and 45 percent are from Whitefish itself. At the peak of summer tourist season in July and August, locals make up about 46 percent of trail users.
The following map shows where visitors who use the Whitefish Trail live. Most of them (15%) are from other communities in Montana. The next-most common place is Alberta, with 12 percent of all visitors to the trail.
Why do we live in Whitefish?
Whitefish Legacy Partners, the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Headwaters Economics (a Bozeman-based nonprofit) have been conducting a study during the past year to better understand the role outdoor recreation plays in our community’s character and economy.
During interviews conducted downtown and at trailheads, we asked locals why they moved to or stay in Whitefish. Summer recreation is ranked as the most important reason to be in the community, with 88 percent of respondents saying it is either important or very important reason for them to be in Whitefish. Sense of community and winter recreation opportunities ranked a close second and third reason to live in Whitefish.
We will be presenting more results from this survey at a public meeting at the Firebrand Hotel on Monday, December 11 at 5:00pm. Please join us!