Engaging a rapidly expanding group of paddling enthusiasts
More than three out of four Americans engage in healthy outdoor activities. Of these outdoor recreation enthusiasts, 24 million enjoy paddling sports. More than 150,000 Idahoans in 2007 – 16% of the population – enjoyed paddle sports, the same number in fact as enjoyed winter snow sports such as skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding combined.
Paddlers represent a growing group of outdoor sports enthusiasts. Nationally, the number of kayakers increased 185 percent and the number of rafters increased 36 percent from 1994 to 2001.
An economic machine – generating economic benefits by attracting residents and visitors.
In Golden, Colorado, a whitewater park on Clear Creek contributes an estimated $2 million annually to the city’s economy. A river recreation park in Vail contributes $1.8 million annually, and a park in Breckenridge $1.4 million annually.
The Boise River Recreation Park will feature the latest hydrologic technology, adaptable to various water flows, and allowing year-round accessibility. It is being designed with with space for spectators, expositions and the media to host regional and national events.
When one considers the cost of gear, transportation, lodging and other expenditures associated with kayaking, canoeing and rafting, the economic impact of more in Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming combined is $1.5 billion annually. The Boise River Recreation Park has the potential to have a tremendous economic impact on our community.
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