Monday, February 6, 2023

Analysis: Virginia Capital Trail economic impact in the millions

The Virginia Capital Trail is a 52-mile pedestrian trail stretching from Richmond to Williamsburg. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Virginia Capital Trail Foundation)
The Virginia Capital Trail is a 52-mile pedestrian trail stretching from Richmond to Williamsburg. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Virginia Capital Trail Foundation)

An economic impact analysis completed by the University of Richmond in collaboration with the Institute for Service Research concluded the Virginia Capital Trail contributed millions to the state’s economy.

The trail contributed approximately $8.9 million in economic activity and $5.3 million in value-added effects. Roughly 95 percent, $8.5 million, occurred within a 50-mile radius of the Trail, according to a news release from the Virginia Trail Foundation.

The Virginia Capital Trail is a 52-mile pedestrian trail stretching from Richmond to Williamsburg, providing vital bike and pedestrian infrastructure to the region.

The study measured economic activity in the trail region and around the state during FY 2018-19.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are visiting the Trail resulting in new record usage highs. E-counters along the trail recorded a 65 percent increase in March and a 46 percent increase in April over the previous year.

“With nearly one million user counts annually, the Capital Trail is a vital stimulus for local businesses, tourism, and economic activity.” Cat Anthony, executive director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, said in a news release. “The Economic and Fiscal Impacts for 2018-19 concludes how impactful the Capital Trail is to our local economy. Approximately $8.9 million in economic activity was generated between FY2018-19, contributing to 99 full-time jobs supported.”

Economic Contributions FY2018-19 by the numbers:

  • $8.9 Million (est.) generated to the Commonwealth’s economy ($8.5 million spent within 50-miles of the Trail)
  • $6.1 Million (est.) in increased revenue (90 percent spent within 50-miles of the Trail)
  • 99 full-time equivalent jobs supported
  • $3.6 Million (est.) in associated labor income
  • $5.3 million (est.) in value-added effects contributed to gross domestic product
  • $613,000 in state and local tax revenue
  • 3.7 percent increase in property values that bordered the trail between 2014-2016 over similar properties not adjacent to the trail

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John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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