Valuation of Recreation Infrastructure in Southern Windsor County

An Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure in Weathersfield, West Windsor, and Windsor
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1718-04
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Southern Windsor County region in Vermont, which encompasses the towns of Windsor, West Windsor, and Weathersfield, contains many opportunities for those seeking outdoor recreation. Between Mount Ascutney, the wildlife areas, and the network of outdoor trails, the region offers a variety of recreational services. This variety is part of what brings thousands of hikers, hang gliders, mountain bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts to the region every year. The purpose of this brief is to estimate the impact of all this activity on the local economy and what value recreation infrastructure adds to the region. The valuation consists of four value components: community enhancement, economic contribution, personal value of recreation, and environmental benefits. Through these categories, we show how the southern Windsor network of outdoor recreational assets affects property values, the local economy, and the quality of life of a region. This report values the outdoor infrastructure of these three towns at approximately $52.4 million. This figure does not include the community enhancement value, which was estimated as a more than 20 percent increase in property value associated with being within two miles of Mount Ascutney Park. With this information, the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission (SWCRPC) can determine the best ways to integrate these assets into a sound economic development strategy.