Top Nav

Hunting and Fishing Businesses Boost Local Economy

People in Flagstaff don’t realize how much impact we have on the local economy,” said taxidermist and sports- man Steve Favour.

Indeed, activities such as hunting, fishing, and birding provide significant financial support for the local economy. “Hunters out in the field still come into town for a hot meal, gasoline, and groceries. A lot of times, when a guy drives in from Louisiana, he will spend his first and last night in a hotel,” Favour added.

Locals might believe that national forest visitors spend the night in the woods and do not spend much on local services, but government studies reveal otherwise. According to the most recent Activity Participation on Coconino National Forest report, only 11 percent camped in the undeveloped area of the forest. Visitors that had spent the night within 50 miles of the interview site were asked to identify the types of lodging they used. Of these visitors, nearly 65 percent of Coconino National Forest visitors stayed in rented cabins, lodges, and hotels not on Forest Service lands.

People who enjoy the outdoors have money to spend. 32 percent of visitors to the Coconino National Forest reported an annual household income of $100,000 or more. “While we know that recreational use of national forests has positive economic impacts on local communities, getting specific data is challenging since much of that use is dispersed across tens of thousands of acres,” explained Karen Malis-Clark of the Coconino National Forest.

Favour, CEO of Signature Taxidermy Studio, brought his company to Flagstaff twenty years ago. “The business pushes a million dollars per year; I employ six guys. Hunting has a big impact on small towns. When I get in a safari,National Forest report, only 11 percent camped in the undeveloped area of the forest. Visitors that had spent the night within 50 miles of the interview site were asked to identify the types of lodging they used. Of these visitors, nearly 65 percent of Coconino National Forest visitors stayed in rented cabins, lodges, and hotels not on Forest Service lands.

People who enjoy the outdoors have money to spend. 32 percent of visitors to the Coconino National Forest reported an annual household income of $100,000 or more. “While we know that recreational use of national forests has positive economic impacts on local communities, getting specific data is challenging since much of that use is dispersed across tens of thousands of acres,” explained Karen Malis-Clark of the Coconino National Forest.

Favour, CEO of Signature Taxidermy Studio, brought his company to Flagstaff twenty years ago. “The business pushes a million dollars per year; I employ six guys. Hunting has a big impact on small towns. When I get in a safari,tions, land ownership and leasing, and other items ($194 million) in the most recent survey conducted by the Census Bureau for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Hunting, camping and fishing help the local economy,” said John Decker, owner of Bull Basin Archery in Flagstaff. He offers sales, service and an indoor shooting range. “This is premier trophy elk hunting in the U.S. We see a large influx of people from out of town; if something breaks, they need service. Out of town guys really boost our business during camping season.”

Decker’s customers bow hunt “primarily in the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests, and on public land all the way to the Mexican border.”

Both the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests attract people from outside of Northern Arizona. 32.8 percent of Coconino respondents and 35 percent of Kaibab respondents reported they were over 500 miles from home.

Visitors who spend the night away from home tend to contribute more new dollars to the local economy. For instance, a non-local national forest visitor spends an average of $51.60 for a day trip, compared to $208 aver- age spending for an overnight trip according to Spending Profiles for National Forest Recreation Visitors by Activity report published in 2006. The report further reveals that hunters spend more than the average visitor: $79.72 on a day trip and $221.27 on an overnight trip.

Tony Nester of Ancient Pathways, LLC can attest to the increased spending of overnight visitors. Nester is a nationally recognized ex- pert and provides training programs in outdoor skills. “When folks come in [to Flagstaff], I refer them to the gear shops in town. Many don’t have outdoor experience; they want to know what kind of hiking boots, what kind of packs and gear to buy. Most will get their stuff here in town.

“Many plan on going to the Grand Canyon, Sedona or up to Hopi. During longer courses, we take a day trip to the Museum of Northern Arizona to look at how people who live here have always used their skills and tie it into the cultural fabric of the area.”

Many of Nester’s clients come from the Midwest and East Coast to attend field survival courses such as how to survive life-threatening situations and bushcraft courses, which are “more about reconnecting with your heritage and the landscape around you.” Nester is author of four outdoor survival books that were produced locally using local graphic designers and photographers. He also travels outside Northern Arizona to conduct courses with military and government groups such as the National Weather Service.

Ancient Pathways courses range from a one-day, $85 “Winter Survival and Ecology Course” to a 10-day “The Complete Survivor and Bushcraft” for $950.

“Fishing is the least expensive sport that you can do,” said Sam Fichera, sole proprietor of the Outdoor Store in Williams, Arizona. Fichera reports that fishing equipment makes up 50 percent of his sales since opening the outdoor sporting goods store one year ago. “The rest is in hunting and camping supplies.”

His customers frequent the lakes around Williams such as Cataract Lake and Santa Fe Reservoir, located in the Kaibab National Forest.

In addition to employing locals and attracting visitor dollars, the business of hunting and fish- ing through retailers like the Outdoor Store in Williams and Ruff’s Sporting Goods in Flagstaff collects sales tax that goes back into the local community. FBN

, , ,

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Hunting and Fishing Businesses Boost Local Economy | Flagstaff Local & Business News | Flagstaff Newspaper -- Topsy.com - July 24, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Flagstaff Biz News, Exit178. Exit178 said: RT @flagbiznews: New Blog Post: Hunting and Fishing Businesses Boost Local Economy http://bit.ly/aZ5Alf […]

  2. Youth, senior-citizen incentives may boost hunting season : BusinessJournalism.org Reynolds Center for Business Journalism - October 11, 2010

    […] a good example from the Flagstaff Business News of an economic-impact story. John's first turkey Easter Sunday 2010. Photo by Flickr user […]

Leave a Reply

Website Design by DRCMedia LLC