Economic Benefits of Railbanking
Nationally, trail-based tourism is a major economic driver in many small communities, supporting local small businesses through annual revenues of millions of dollars per trail in direct consumer spending. Trails can be economic engines. Converting the Pullman to Colfax rail to a trail creates a 50-mile corridor connecting Colfax to Troy, ID and would be an economic engine for our county and local communities.
Stay an Extra Day
The economic value of enticing people who come for local events to stay an extra day or two with outdoor recreational opportunities could stimulate our local economy.
With more outdoor recreational opportunities, people who come for WSU events might stay an extra day or two which would stimulate our local economy.
Many people organize vacations around trail use and will travel to experience new trails. The proposed rail-trail will expand our current trail system creating a 50+ mile stretch from Colfax to Troy and eventually all the way to Kendrick and Juliaetta. This trail could become a tourism draw because of the diverse ecosystems it traverses.
Trail users would likely support cafes, coffee and ice cream shops, convenience stores and other opportunities to rest. Local trail users are likely to frequent these types of businesses as stop-overs and destinations similar to the Filling Station coffee house in Troy.
Trails are attractive to prospective businesses and employees. Over time, the population and economic base of the area will grow. Trail development will help drive economic growth (as well as improve the quality of life).
A growing population will need more recreational facilities. Establishing a trail on a state owned right-of-way is an economical way to provide increased facilities.