Survey on Economic Impact of Trail Use

Ever wonder how much of an impact trail users have on the local economy?  The Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance and Mount Royal College are conducting a Survey on the economic impact of trail use.  It not only relates to mountain biking, but to all trail use, including cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking.


$200 prize pack from MEC

This type of information is important to people who offer grants, “What kind of economic benefit will your trails add to the community?”  Your answers to these survey questions will help gauge the total economic impacts of various trail user groups in different areas. Please consider taking this survey at

Please forward the above link to all of your friends. The more people who take it, the better the results are. It is short and should only take five minutes to finish. The survey ends midnight April 1st, and we will make the results public shortly afterwords.

As an added bonus for helping us out, you can enter your name and email at the end of the survey for a chance to win a $200 prize pack from Mountain Equipment Co-op.  See all the goodies above. An MEC backpack, hiking socks, Gore-tex gaiters, and a $100 MEC gift card, plus a copy of Gillean’s Kananaskis Country Trail Guide, Volume 1.

7 comments… add one
  • OHV Rider Mar 14, 2011, 5:50 pm

    If it would be beneficial to this study, the survey would be well received at some of the OHV sites if you’re looking for more input.

    ie RMDRA Forum or Mud and Snow Forum.

    I know almost everyone I ride with also has a non-OHV hobby (ie mountain biking, skiing etc). It dosen’t take long to spend $100k if you include all the necessary equipment ie Truck/Trailer/OHV/Equipment..etc.

  • Ronzoni Mar 12, 2011, 9:03 pm

    The health angle is an important point. I first began mountain recreation activity 35 years ago, and at that time, I only remember running into young people in the backcountry. Then career and family supervened, and it was only when I found myself on a cold slab in the angioplasty suite that I was motivated to fundamental lifestyle change; I now commit to spending a day a week in the backcountry, and of interest, I run into more people my age-ish (55) than young folks. I suspect we’re all out there to preserve/promote health and to recover our once-promising mountaineering careers, lol.

  • Chris @ CMBA Mar 11, 2011, 8:41 pm

    Gillean, your point about health is a great one. How much money is NOT being spent (directly or more importantly indirectly through private and public insurance) in the health care industry by trail users?

    Heheh, it makes me wonder if I should have slid a question into the survey about what the primary motivator for trail use was. Fun and recreation? Personal health? Exercise? If the strongest answer is recreation, well, a bunch of people just got the added benefit of a much more healthy lifestyle, and they WANTED to do the activities for fun.

    But, that could be an entire study in itself.

  • Chris @ CMBA Mar 11, 2011, 8:20 pm

    OHV – Off Highway Vehicle. Think dirtbikes, quads, and 4×4 trucks.

    At a micro level, a single OHV user may spend more than a non-OHV user, but both the financial and psychological barriers to participating in OHV activities are pretty high. At more of a macro level, I wonder if non-OHV users bring more money to the table as a whole.

    The CMBA survey is designed to look at a single user participating in non-OHV (non-motorized) activities. The survey along won’t tell us how many in total are participating. We hope to be able to combine the survey results with other data to get a total picture of how much money really is being spent.

  • Ronzoni Mar 11, 2011, 4:34 pm

    What’s an OHV?

  • Gillean Daffern Mar 11, 2011, 12:07 pm

    Just a couple of instant thoughts to get the ball rolling. Obviously people who use OHVs have more of an economic impact than people who walk using no specialized equipment. Mountain bikers would come somewhere in the middle of the totem pole. However, if you look at it from a different point of view—the economic benefits of having good health into old age—then the totem would reverse itself.

    Your thoughts?

  • Gillean Daffern Mar 11, 2011, 11:02 am

    The glitch in getting to the questionnaire has now been fixed. Try again.

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