The Ice Age Trail National Scenic Trail, all 1,200 miles of which are in Wisconsin, draws more than 1.2 million visitors who contribute $113 million to the local and state economies every year, according to a new report by the Ice Age Trail Alliance, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and partners.
In 2012, a survey of more than 1,010 Ice Age Trail users and businesses along the Ice Age Trail was undertaken. Along with looking at IATA member input, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater interviewed users on the trail and polled nearby businesses owners.
Seventy-one percent of respondents said they participate in outdoor recreation and silent sports daily or weekly and spend an average of $50 to $100 on meals and necessities during each trip.
According to the report, the economic impact of 1,252,685 estimated visitors to the Ice Age Trail in 2012 "is 1,481 full-time equivalent jobs that tend toward the tourism industry. Estimated labor income of $35,413,364 contributes $113,961,357 in direct sales from Ice Age Trail visitors to statewide and local economies."
"This is some of the biggest news the IATA has ever received," IATA Executive Director Mike Wollmer wrote on the organization's website in announcing the release of the report in March.
The full report, titled "Joint Effort Marketing Year One Final Report 2012 Ice Age Trail Alliance," can be found at www.iceagetrail.org/economic-impact.