Students from Appalachian State University's student chapter of the National Association for Business Economics and faculty in the Department of Economics in the Walker College of Business have recently conducted an economic impact study of the Blue Ridge Brutal, a long distance road bike ride.
Appalachian economics majors Jonathan Buckley, Roxy Day, Phoebe Eaton, Connery Martin, Nhkosinathi Moyo and Agustin Orozco worked on the study.
The start and finish point for the Blue Ridge Brutal is the Ashe Civic Center in West Jefferson, North Carolina. There are 100, 75 and 57-mile ride options, and each route travels through some of the most beautiful scenery in North Carolina.
Economic impact of the 2021 Blue Ridge Brutal
The researchers found that the ride contributed $190,000 to Ashe County's economy.
From the report: Considering those respondents who participated in the 2021 ride and traveled from their homes to the area, average total spending was $441 during their stay. The top two categories for expenditures were lodging and food/supplies. Average lodging expenditures were $263 and average food expenditures were $91. Summing this over the total number of non-local participants in 2021 yields total direct spending of $129,298 associated with the BRB event. Direct spending circulates through the regional economy and generates additional spending through the “multiplier effect.” Applying a RIMS II multiplier of 1.45 for the tourism sector yields a total economic impact of $189,580.
About the National Association for Business Economics
The National Association for Business Economics promotes interaction between economics majors and minors and between students and faculty. Activities include social gatherings, educational trips, and speakers regarding employment opportunities.