Biking, hiking contribute $1.6 billion to Colorado’s economy

Biking generates a $1.1 billion annual economic impact in Colorado, in addition to $511 million in health benefits that include the prevention of about 50 deaths every year, according to a new study done for the state.

Also, walking generates an additional $497 million economic impact and saves some 285 more lives every year from people who use it to enhance their health, found the study conducted by BBC Research & Consulting, a Boulder-based firm that has done economic studies for the ski industry in the past.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said he plans to use the report to continue to seek private funding to build biking and hiking trails across Colorado.

The study demonstrated that not only should businesses be interested in encouraging hiking and biking in regard to the health of their employees, but they also should view promotion of the outdoor activities as a boon both for tourism and retail sales. That could especially benefit parts of the state that are not seeing the same economic boom as Denver and other Front Range cities.

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