Research from Walker College economics professor John Whitehead was recently used to rank the economic impact of outdoor adventure.
Outsideonline.com ranked Boone as one of its top five towns in America, noting "Adventure's an investment. But exactly how much are cities making, and what kind of return on an investment can a town expect from its outdoor investments?"
The article noted that the economic impact of Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, a location Whitehead has studied extensively, brought $2.7 million to the area in 2013.
Whitehead's research on the creation of Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park examined how the unique effort blended the economy, the environment and the social aspects of sustainability.
Rocky Knob was funded by a grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority. It has 7.8 miles of trails, shelters, a playground and picnic area.
The relevant research utilized a Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park Survey, which was conducted during 2011 and 2012 by students and faculty at Appalachian State University. More than 300 complete responses were obtained.
Whitehead's research generally focuses on economic impact and benefit-cost analyses.
About Faculty Research in the Walker College of Business
Walker College of Business faculty produce and disseminate extensive research through both academic and professional communities. In the last five years, faculty members have published approximately 400 peer-reviewed academic journal articles, 130 conference proceedings and made more than 400 conference and professional presentations in 170 different venues. In total, the faculty has produced more than 700 individual intellectual contributions in basic discovery research, more than 400 contributions in applied or integrative research and 240 contributions in teaching and learning research. For more information, visit business.appstate.edu.