The Rails To Trails blog has a new article about the economic impact of building a rails to trails trail. One study “finds that every dollar invested in trails creates at least three dollars of return from tourism and recreation-related activities like equipment rentals, restaurants and lodging. ”
The $57 million of direct spending estimated by the study creates an additional $61 million in indirect impact as dollars ripple through the economy. The total spending of almost $120 million in Georgia supports roughly 1,300 jobs and $37 million in earnings. In addition, the combined direct and indirect spending generates roughly $3.5 million in income tax, sales tax and business tax revenues.
Also notable is how property values near trails go up:
Several organizations have calculated the residential property value increases associated with proximity to trails and green space. A fact sheet from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy reports that properties along a trail in Brown County, Wis., fetched a 9 percent premium, and a regional greenway in Apex, N.C., added $5,000 to the sales price of adjacent homes in the Shepherd’s Vineyard development.
Mobile county has a great opportunity to build a Rails to Trails bicycle path from Mobile to Satsuma.