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Economic Impact of Snowplay Visitors to Flagstaff Exceeds $16 Million
Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau completed a two-year study of Flagstaff’s winter visitors, with the newest portion revealing that snowplay visitors spent more than $11 million in 2009-2010 and generated an economic impact of $16.2 million
The study was conducted from December 2009-March 2010 at the Wing Mountain fee-pay site and at the non-fee sites of Crowley Pit, Peak View and Fort Tuthill County Park.
The Flagstaff Snowplay Study was a follow up to the 2008-2009 Winter Visitor Study conducted at Arizona Snowbowl. The goal of this two-part venture was to compile an overall profile of Flagstaff’s winter visitors, including skiers, snowboarders and general snow players. By gaining a better understanding of their travel patterns and demographics, the CVB and Flagstaff tourism stakeholders can more effectively market to these visitors.
“Winter visitation is a huge part of Flagstaff’s economy and the information in this study will help us develop new strategies to reach out to these visitors,” said Heather Ainardi, CVB Director. “Flagstaff truly is the Destination for All Seasons, so our goal is to parlay our popularity in the summer season into increased overnight visitation throughout the rest of the year.”
Nearly all of the survey respondents were from outside the Flagstaff area (96%), and more than 96 percent of those out-of-town visitors were Arizona residents. Of those that originated from outside Flagstaff, 55 percent spent the night in Flagstaff, leading to an average stay of 1.8 nights. The estimated total amount spent on hotel/motel lodging by snowplay visitors exceeded $3.3 million. Both overnight and day-trip visitors spent an additional $3.4 million in Flagstaff’s restaurants and bars.
More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents were repeat snowplay visitors in Flagstaff, visiting an average of 2.5 times during the year. The age demographic of snowplay visitors tends to skew a little lower than Flagstaff’s typical visitors, with an average age of 38 years for snowplay visitors and 49 years for overall Flagstaff tourists (2008-2009 Flagstaff Visitor Study). In addition, snowplay visitors were highly satisfied with their overall experience, giving a ranking of 9.5 on a 10 point scale. Their satisfaction was based on road conditions, signage, traffic, parking and several other factors.
When asked what activities they planned on participating in besides snowplay, 33 percent indicated they would go shopping, 32 percent planned on visiting Arizona Snowbowl and 30 percent planned on visiting Historic Downtown.
The Flagstaff Snowplay study was conducted by the Arizona Hospitality Research & Resource Center at Northern Arizona University. For more information regarding the tourism industry in Flagstaff or to receive a full copy of the study, contact the FCVB at (928) 779-7628 or online at flagstaffarizona.org.
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The mission of the Flagstaff CVB is to develop, promote and maintain Flagstaff as a year-round visitor destination with professional services that will benefit the community economically, environmentally and socially.