Impacts of Visitor Spending on Local Economy:
Crater Lake National Park, 2001
MGM2 Visitor Segments
MGM2 divides visitors into segments to help explain differences in spending across distinct user groups. Overnight visitors were distinguished from day visitors based on the lodging type reported in the Crater Lake National Park Visitor Survey questionnaire. Day visitors were divided into two groups depending on the visitor’s ZIP code to separate local and non- local visitors. Seven lodging segments were established for Crater Lake NP visitors:
Local day users: Day visitors who live within a 100-mile distance to the park
Non-local day users : Visitors from outside the region, not staying overnight in the area. This includes day trips and pass-through travelers. Visitors staying with friends/relatives or at an owned seasonal home in the area are also included in this category
Motel-in: Visitor staying in motels, cabins, B&B’s etc. inside the park
Camp-In: Visitors staying in campgrounds inside the park
Backcountry campers: Visitors staying overnight in backcountry sites
Motel-out: Visitor staying in motels, cabins, B&B’s etc. outside the park within the region
Camp-out: Visitors staying in private or other public campgrounds outside the park within the region.
A recreation visit is the count of one person entering the park. Spending depends on how long visitors stay in the area rather than how many times they enter the park or how much time they spend inside the park. Recreation visits are therefore converted to party days/nights in the region before applying spending averages. This avoids double counting spending of visitors who may enter the park multiple times on the same day and also takes into account additional days a visitor may spend in the area outside the park.
Recreation visits are converted to party nights3 as follows:
Vehicle entries to the park = recreation visits / party size
Party trip to the park = Vehicle entries/ re-entry rate
Party nights in the area = Party trip * length of stay in the area
Distinct re-entry rates, party sizes and length of stay factors were estimated for each segment using the 2001 Visitor Survey data (Table 4). The average party size ranged from 2.0 for backcounty campers to 3.2 persons for local day trips. Overnight visitors stayed between 1.5 and 3.0 nights in the local region4. Most visitors enter the park only once during a stay in the area. Total party nights and spending are sensitive to the length of stay and re-entry factors. Lengths of stay indicate how many nights of spending will be counted for each visitor. Re-entry factors correct for multiple counting of the same visitors.
Table 3 Crater Lake NP visitors’ travel patterns by lodging segments
Using these conversion parameters, 457,000 recreation visits were converted to 181,000 vehicle entries and 170,000 partytrips to the area in 2000 (Table 4). Local residents accounted for 12% of the total party trips; day trips from outside the region (including stays with friends and relatives or seasonal homes in the area) accounted for 36% (Figure 2). These party trips equated to 262,000 party nights in the region. Visitors staying at motels contributed 41% (4% inside the park) of total party nights in the region, and campers represented 20% (6% inside the park). We estimate that park visitors accounted for around 11,000 hotel room nights inside the park and 100,000 hotel room nights in area motels. Campers accounted for 16,000 and 54,000 camping nights inside and outside the park in 2001.
Table 4 Visit measures for Crater Lake NP by segments, 2001