|Abstract or Summary
- Despite a recent decline, during the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in sales
and permit registrations for off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in Oregon. These vehicles include
quads and three-wheel ATVs (Class I), dune buggies, sand rails, and 4x4 vehicles (Class II),
and off-highway motorcycles (Class III). This report updates the 1999 OHV economic impact
analysis, based on expenditure reported by a sample of OHV riders for the year 2008.
As with any economic activity, this expenditure creates multiplier effects in the economy. The
economic significance of equipment expenditure reflects all activity, by region, from “oneoff”
purchases such as OHV vehicles, trailers, and tow vehicles. The economic impact of trip
expenditure reflects “new money,” by region, from fuel, lodging, food, and other spending
related to the use of OHVs. All spending reflects recreational OHV use of public lands in
Oregon. Equipment expenditure is from Oregon residents, while trip expenditure is in-Oregon
spending by Oregon residents and out-of-state visitors.
Within Oregon, an estimated 68,202 households engage in recreational OHV riding. These
households spent an estimated $291 million on OHV equipment in 2008, with the Willamette
Valley region representing 38% of all equipment expenditure. Statewide, the average
household spent $4,259 on equipment, of which $1,596 was for OHV vehicles and $1,105 was
the cost of vehicles attributable to towing OHVs. Statewide, this spending generated $53.5
million in labor income, including employee compensation and proprietary income. This income
supported 1,162 jobs.
An estimated 2.6 million household trip days were taken statewide in 2008, with the South
Coast having the largest share (756,581 trip days). These trip days include all OHV riding, from
an hour-long ride on adjacent land to a week-long vacation hundreds of miles away. Combined,
local, non-local, and out-of-state trips were associated with $250 million in trip expenditure in
Oregon. A substantial portion of this total was for gasoline, to be expected given the record
high gas prices that year. Statewide, this spending generated $64.1 million in labor income, and
this income supported 2,369 jobs.
Both types of expenditure involve significant retail components, but this is especially true for
equipment. Much of this spending is quickly “lost” from the host region to purchase the products
sold (vehicles, gasoline, etc.). In addition, jobs are both full-time and part-time, and with varying
wage levels. This accounts for the difference between equipment and trip results with respect
to the ratios between expenditure, income, and employment.