App State economics students measure the impact of Fire Mountain Bike Trails

The economic impact of the Fire Mountain Bike Trails (FMBT) on the surrounding region is significant, according to research from Appalachian State University's student chapter of the National Association for Business Economics and faculty in the Department of Economics in the Walker College of Business. 

A recent study estimates that the economic impact of the trails is an estimated $1.5 million, annually.

"...average total spending per party was $889 during a stay. The top two categories for expenditures were lodging and restaurant meals."

The trails are located near the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, North Carolina. There are multiple trail ride options and each travels through some of the most beautiful scenery in North Carolina and the nearby Great Smoky Mountains.

The study was conducted by Department of Economics students Sitara Brent, Ethan Grant, Catie Holder and Lianna Palko-DiStefano, in collaboration with App State Economics Professor John Whitehead. The study is associated with App State's Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysis.

About the Center for Economics Research and Policy Analysis (CERPA)

The Center for Economics Research and Policy Analysis (CERPA) at Appalachian State University enables decision-makers to implement policies that better achieve targeted outcomes by producing research and disseminating information on current economic and policy issues. Housed in the Walker College of Business Department of Economics, CERPA maintains the Appalachian Experimental Economics Laboratory (AppEEL) as part of the experimental economics program and encourages faculty and student student research. For more information, visit

About the Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs, and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling 3,986 undergraduates in 10 majors, as well as 235 graduate students in three master's programs, the Walker College's full time undergraduate enrollment is the highest in the UNC System.  Appalachian is consistently named one of "The Best Business Schools" by The Princeton Review and is accredited by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the premier global accrediting body for schools of business. For more information, visit

App State economics students measure the impact of Fire Mountain Bike Trails
Published: Mar 26, 2024 12:56pm