1704 N. 2nd St. Occupied Lands, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Hopi Tribe: Arizona Snowbowl’s Expansion Will Not Have a Measurable or Significant Economic Impact on the Flagstaff Area

News Release from the Hopi Tribe:

Download the economic report here.

Arizona Snowbowl’s Expansion Will Not Have a Measurable or Significant Economic Impact on the Flagstaff Area

Kykotsmovi, Ariz. – An economic analysis released by the Hopi Tribe and prepared by Bioeconomics, Inc. determined that the Arizona Snowbowl expansion and the availability of reclaimed wastewater for snowmaking will not provide a measureable or significant economic impact to the Flagstaff region’s economy. Despite contrary reports, impacts to the region’s economy based on the Snowbowl expansion are too trivial to have a statistically significant impact. The conclusions drawn in other reports are based on fallacious analyses of data that overstate the benefit to the region’s economy by at least 130%.

According to Bioeconomics, the analysis in reports that Arizona Snowbowl has relied on to garner support for its expansion incorrectly considered factors, such as expenditure impacts from local residents, which are not applicable to a regional economic analysis. “It is fundamental in these types of analyses not to include local residents’ expenditures because it does not represent an injection of new money into the region,” said PhD economist Dr. John Duffield of Bioeconomics. An article in the Journal of Travel Research concludes that the most frequent “mischievous error” in computing impacts to regional economics is to include impacts from local residents. his “mischievous error” is often made to inflate the results as the true impact of an enterprise on a region’s economy is too small to detect.

Bioeconomics estimate that this error inflates Snowbowl’s impact to the regional economics by at least 130%. For these same reasons, the Snowbowl expansion will also not provide a significant number of new jobs for the area’s economy. Arizona Snowbowl is simply too small of an enterprise to have any meaningful impact and it is statistically incorrect to claim that the Arizona Snowbowl provides a measureable benefit to the Flagstaff area’s economy.

Bioeconomics’ economic analysis demonstrates that even without the proposed expansion, based on the actual net income reported for Arizona Snowbowl in the EIS for years 1993-2003, which averaged $242,000 per year, Arizona Snowbowl is a stable enterprise with a present value of approximately $4 to $5 million. Arizona Snowbowl has received the value of its investment. It has existed as a ski area with variable annual returns but a net income stream since at least 1992 sufficient to support valuation of around $4 million – the price it paid. Arizona Snowbowl is currently a viable business operation and has survived in its current condition for twenty years. Bioeconomics’ analysis shows it is not true that Arizona Snowbowl is a failing business that needs to be rescued by the infusion of valuable public in support of such an ill-advised project.

The Bioeconomics’ report confirms what the Tribe has repeatedly asserted, the proposed expansion and use of reclaimed wastewater on a sacred place, the San Francisco Peaks, is not in the public’s best interest, particularly because the ski area is bounded by a designated wilderness area, the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. The proposed expansion will only provide small additional economic benefits to Snowbowl’s owners and to a small population consisting of the Snowbowl skier demographic that may want an extended ski season. The Flagstaff region will not realize any appreciable economic benefits and all of the costs will be borne by endangered species, threatened habitats, Indian Tribes, and the general public who value the purpose and uses for which the Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area was originally designated by the U.S. Congress.

Go to www.hopi-nsn.gov/news for full report (Economic Significance of Arizona Snowbowl to the Flagstaff and Coconino County, Arizona Regional Economy).


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