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Teton-West Yellowstone Region Backcountry Winter Recreation Economic Impact Analysis

Key Message

Backcountry recreation by both residents and non-residents contributes direct economic benefits to the local economy through participation in recreation as well as through employee wages and tax revenues.


Newcomb, Mark. (2013). Teton-West Yellowstone Region Backcountry Winter Recreation Economic Impact Analysis. Boise, ID: Winter Wildlands Alliance.


This report analyzes the annual economic contribution of winter backcountry recreation in Grand Teton National Park, parts of the Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee National Forests, and areas around West Yellowstone in Gallatin National Forest and Yellowstone National Park. Backcountry recreation is defined as including backcountry skiing and snowboarding (aka AT); cross-country and nordic track skiing; snowshoeing; walking/jogging on groomed backcountry trails; and over-snow biking. The population includes residents of the communities in the region who participated in one or more of those activities as well as nonresidents who participated in one or more of those activities during the course of their visit.

Surveys were administered to a random sample of residents and nonresidents over the course of the 2012/2013 winter season. Population was estimated by aggregating Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement data, National Visitor Use Monitoring Data, Grand Teton National Park trail counts and concessionaire use data.


Results indicate the total annual direct economic contribution of these activities in the region to be $22,564,461. The annual direct economic impact by nonresidents who participate in these activities while visiting the region is $12,073,815. The estimated annual economic contribution of residents is $6,473,919, with this economic activity annually generating $2,974,004 in wages to employees who work in jobs directly stemming from these forms of winter backcountry recreation. The estimated annual tax revenues to state and local government from this activity is $1,042,723.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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