Data from our 2021 Trail User Survey is now available and the impact of the Little Traverse Wheelway is staggering:
In other words, the estimated cost to rebuild the trail is equal to or less than a single year’s economic impact on the Petoskey and Emmet County economies.
This economic impact is not an abstraction: money spent at local businesses stays local in the form of “wages and benefits paid to local residents, profits earned by local owners, the purchases of local goods and services for resale and internal use, and contributions to local nonprofits.”**** All of these things strengthen the Petoskey and Emmet County economies and support a thriving local population.
*This accounts for spending while actually on the trail, and not lodging, meals, shopping, and other activities while in the area.
**Estimated based on one night’s stay at either hotel ($200/night avg. daily rate) or campground ($38/night at Petoskey State Park; private would be more).
***Per Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, retail and restaurant are top activities of visitors. MEDC data for Emmet County suggests retail plus food & beverage spending taken together slightly exceed spending on lodging.
****Why Buy Local? An Assessment of the Economic Advantages of Shopping at Locally Owned Businesses, Michigan State University – Center for Community and Economic Development
More Info on How Dollars Spent Locally Benefit the Local Economy
“When dollars are spent locally, they can in turn be re-spent locally, raising the overall level of economic activity, paying more salaries, and building the local tax base. This re-circulating of money leads to an increase of economic activity, with the degree of expanse entirely dependent on the percentage of money spent locally.”
There are “four ways in which a firm keeps money local: wages and benefits paid to local residents, profits earned by local owners, the purchases of local goods and services for resale and internal use, and contributions to local nonprofits.”
“[S]ignificantly more money re-circulates locally when purchases are made at the locally owned business. This recirculation is attributed, in part, to locally owned businesses purchasing more often from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing locally helps other businesses grow, as well as the local tax base.”
“[L]ocally owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact. For every $100 in consumer spending with a locally owned business, $73 remains” in the local economy. “The remaining $73 is then dispersed locally in the form of wages, charitable donations, taxes which fund city services, and purchases of goods and services from other local businesses.”
Why Buy Local? An Assessment of the Economic Advantages of Shopping at Locally Owned Businesses
Michigan State University
Center for Community and Economic Development