The economic benefits of off highway vehicle recreation in Larimer County, Colorado
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This thesis estimates the non-market benefits associated with Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation in Larimer County, Colorado. We use a Travel Cost Model (TCM) and a Contingent Valuation Model (CVM) to estimate benefits to three different types of users: Dirt Bike Riders, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Riders, and 4-Wheel Drive (4x4) users. Using CVM we find the consumer surplus estimates to be between $87 and $207 per person per day, depending on model specification. This equates to a per summer per trail consumer surplus between $282,908.50 and $674,997.80, and a Larimer County OHV surplus per summer to be between $1,026,542 and $2,449,249. These results are consistent with previous research on OHV recreation (e.g. Englin et. al, 2006, Loomis, 2006). We also find that for our sample, the travel cost model does not find significance in the travel cost variable. We believe that this may be due to our open-ended travel cost question, or due to the fact that most OHV recreationists are traveling from the same area.