Friday, May 4, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Colorado River Is The Top Employer In The Southwest U.S. and Major Economic Driver

“The Colorado River is the economic, cultural and social backbone of the Southwest. This is true for recreational uses of the river as well, as today’s report clearly demonstrates.” -- U.S. Senator Mark Udall

(Denver, CO – May 3, 2012) Following extensive research into the economic impact of recreational activities along the Colorado River and its tributaries across six western states, Protect the Flows in partnership with Southwick Associates, Inc. today released a study, “Colorado River, Inc.: The $26 Billion Recreation Resource Employing a Quarter Million Americans,” revealing the Colorado River to be the 19th largest employer on the Fortune 500, and major economic powerhouse fueling economies in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
Protect the Flows, a coalition of more than 400 small businesses from the seven Colorado River basin states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, commissioned the report by economic research firm Southwick Associates, Inc. to understand the economic output derived from the Colorado River and its tributaries. The study found that 5.36 million adults use the Colorado River and its tributaries for recreational activities, including picnicking, trail activities, wildlife watching, camping, fishing, water sports, bicycling, and snow sports each year, and that such recreation, in turn, contributes significantly to the economic growth and stability of basin region states.
Among the study’s key findings, river-related recreation in the six-state region:
  1. - Supports 234,000 jobs across Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming
  2. - Produces $26 billion in economic output
  3. - Generates $17.0 billion in retail sales
  4. - Out performs regional farming revenues by 14.6% on average
  5. - Contributes $3.2 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue annually
  6. - Provides enough state and local tax revenues to fund over 29,000 teacher positions
  7. - Creates $10.4 billion in annual earnings, salaries, and wages

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