Reviewing the last decade, Fremont County experienced significant growth and received major benefits from tourism, a principal revenue generator in Wind River Country. According to Dean Runyan Associates, “visitors traveling to and throughout Wyoming represent an important component of the state's economy: business sales, payroll, employment and tax receipts. Many areas in Wyoming consider travel and tourism a primary industry.”
The Wyoming Office of Tourism has employed the economic and marketing research firm Dean Runyan Associates for data-mining the “The Economic Impact of Travel on Wyoming” ‑an analysis of visitor and tourism data statewide and for each county. According to the Wind River Visitors Council, in 2014, Fremont County’s performance ranked #8 out of 23 counties.
Here’s a quick digest of the 73-page report:
Fremont County visitors spent $140 million in 2014, a positive growth of $2.3 million since 2013, and an impressive 82% increase since 2000.
Of the $140 million visitor-generated revenue in Fremont County:
-$60 million in sales for gas and lodging
-Approximately $20 million in retail purchases
-Over $20 million in arts and recreational activities
-Close to $40 million in dining and groceries
Hard to wrap your brain around millions while you’re working with a more modest budget? Try this: For every $1 spent on lodging, visitors spend an additional $7 in our community.
That’s not all: Tourism creates jobs and living wages for year-round residents. In 2014, Fremont County tourism alone directly created 1,510 jobs and generated $44.5 million in wages. These salaries are in turn spent in secondary markets such as contractors, utilities, taxes, and general everyday local living. Tourism tax receipts averaged a savings of $367 per Fremont County household. (That’s local and state taxes we didn’t have to spend because of revenue generated from visitors.)
What does this mean in 2015? Just remember residents enjoy year-round what visitors have for only their two-week vacation. So, next time you have to wait in line or at the stop light for an extra minute, hug a tourist for loving what we get to enjoy (in part, because of them) year-round. We’d like to see those numbers double again next decade.
Press release produced by the Wind River Visitors Council - Your Fremont County Lodging Tax Dollars at Work! Keep in touch with Wind River Country…