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Airport economic impact study is released

Sun News Service

Truckee residents will no longer have to speculate how much revenue the Truckee Tahoe Airport District brings into North Shore communities.

An economic impact analysis, a report which estimates the amount of revenue created by the airport from August 1999 to July 2000, was released by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District on Oct. 23.

According to the report, the Truckee Tahoe Airport District created direct economic impacts of $10.4 million. There were 149 jobs in the region due to the presence of the airport, with net earnings of $3.3 million.

The analysis was conducted by Lee McPheters, Ph.D., professor of economics in the College of Business at Arizona State University. McPheters has completed about 30 studies of similar airports during the past two decades.

The study examined the impact of the airport from the perspective of on-airport and off-airport economic activity.

On-airport revenues were estimated at $4.1 million and off-airport revenues from visitor spending were $3.6 million.

Including effects of secondary spending induced by airport activity, the study said total direct and induced revenues were $15.2 million with 235 jobs and $5 million in earnings.

The survey identified 49 jobs directly at the airport, including employees of businesses located at the airport, Truckee Fire Protection District and California Department of Forestry fire and rescue workers and Truckee Tahoe Airport District staff.

There were 11,591 visitors to the area who arrived by private aircraft at the airport during the study period. Travelers who own second homes (and their guests) spent an average of $630 per travel party. Food and drink was the largest spending category for these visitors. Second home owners spent a total of $1.2 million while in the north Lake Tahoe region during the year.

Those air travelers who do not own second homes and instead paid for accommodations such as resorts or rented houses spent an average of $1,464 during their visit, according to the study. Total expenditures for lodging, food, retail, recreation and ground transportation for these visitors was an additional $2.3 million.

The average length of stay for both types of travel parties was more than three days. Slightly more than one half of arriving aircraft – 52 percent – were from other parts of California.

The study estimated that on a typical day there are 86 visitors in the area that arrived at the Truckee Tahoe Airport and their combined daily spending is $9,800.

Owners of aircraft at the airport completed a questionnaire about the importance of the airport for their business and their residence. Business activity was more important for permanent residents than for those who only kept their aircraft at the airport part of the year. Two out of three permanent residents stated the airport was “very important” to their job or business. They reported combined sales for their businesses of $150 million.

Only 23 percent of seasonally based aircraft owners said the airport was very important to their business, but almost four out of five – 78 percent – said the airport was very important to their decision to have a second home in the Truckee area. The study estimated that seasonal residents who base their aircraft at Truckee Tahoe Airport part of the year spend more than $760,000 while they are in the area.

For a complete copy of the report, call the Truckee Tahoe Airport District at (530) 587-4540.


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