Adapting to the New Economy: The Impacts of Mountain Bike Tourism in Oakridge, Oregon
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The city of Oakridge, Oregon has seen a measurable increase in the number of mountain bike visitors over the last five years. These visitors are providing a needed boost in their economy, which was historically based in natural resource extraction. While some literature exists on the economic impact of mountain bikers at larger geographic scales (county, state, or national levels), very little exists at a community level. This research uses existing data to determine the economic impact of mountain bikers in Oakridge. Furthermore, as economic development is inexplicably linked with community development, the study also examines the social impacts of mountain bike tourism in Oakridge. Through key informant interviews, the attitudes and perceptions of local residents and business owners were obtained. By identifying barriers and opportunities to future development, this research presents strategies to increase local spending while maintaining community values.