A new report shows that the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail (LRHT) continues to have a positive economic impact in Lackawanna County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and that trail usage has substantially increased in the past five years.
Officials at Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area (LHV) in Scranton released the findings of the 2016 Trail User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis at a special event at LHV Headquarters on Wednesday, February 1. The report shows that the total economic impact of the trail is $91.9 million in Pennsylvania and Lackawanna County. Of that, $72 million is generated in Lackawanna County.
“We are delighted that this study has validated our belief that the trail has a tremendous effect on our community,” said Natalie Gelb, Executive Director, LHV. “It has created a new awareness and participation in health, wellness and social activities, and it is a valuable economic development asset, generating revenue for local businesses. The trail enhances our quality of life, and it attracts people to live and work here.”
Trail usage has significantly increased since the last survey was conducted in 2009. There were approximately 315,000 visits to the trail last year, with an estimated 8,370 weekly trail visits. This marks a 145 percent increase in trail usage since 2009.
Urban Partners, a community and economic development consulting firm based in Philadelphia, prepared the analysis. Results were based on a survey of 770 trail users conducted by Lackawanna Heritage Valley over a 7-month period in 2016.
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