With more attention being paid regionally to outdoor recreation (to include a State of the Outdoors event scheduled for this month), an economic-impact picture would be incomplete without considering a study published in December and commissioned by the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition and Trails Preservation Alliance. The study determined $2.3 billion makes its way annually into Colorado’s economy thanks to tourism and sales activity linked to off-highway vehicle recreation.
“This report is illustrative of the large economic impact benefitting all Coloradans from the sales and recreational use of OHVs and the local jobs created by the OHV industry,” said COHVCO spokesman Jim Bensberg. Bensberg said about 15,000 OHVs are registered and permitted in El Paso County. Colorado Parks and Wildlife reports that more than 170,000 OHV registrations and use permits were issued in 2015. Each annual registration for an OHV costs $25.25.
The report was prepared by Pinyon Environmental after the 2014-2015 season and it found that nearly 200,000 Colorado and non-resident households participated in OHV activity, which includes motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and 4WDs.
According to the data, motorized recreation enthusiasts spent an estimated $1.6 billion while taking trips using motorized vehicles for recreational purposes. Motorized recreationists also spent money on maintenance, repairs, accessories, vehicle storage and miscellaneous items associated with their vehicles, according to the report.
Direct sales of OHVs was estimated to generate $914 million, while an additional $882 million was attributed to indirect and induced sales, according to data from the report. More than 16,000 jobs are related to the OHV recreation industry in Colorado and $107 million in state and local taxes were paid during the study period.
“This report clearly shows the positive economic impact of off-highway vehicle recreation in our great state of Colorado,” said COHVCO President Jerry Abboud in a news release. “It also points out the importance of providing effective land management and riding opportunities for residents and tourists alike.”