GMHA Announces Results Of Economic Impact Study

January 13, 2011

in News,Woodstock

SOUTH WOODSTOCK — The Green Mountain Horse Association (GMHA) has released the results of a comprehensive economic impact study that it undertook to document current levels of investment in the local economy as a result of GMHA’s operations.
The survey was conducted by Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business during the past summer and included a Web-based survey of GMHA visitors, an analysis of GMHA spending during the past fiscal year, and one-on-one interviews with local business owners.
Among the findings were:
• Each year, GMHA attracts approximately 10,000 visitors to South Woodstock and the surrounding towns. More than 85 percent of these visitors are from outside the region.
• A typical competitor or rider at GMHA is usually accompanied by two other individuals and stays on average of 3.4 days, 2.4 nights.
• A typical competitor or rider spends an average of $210 per day on lodging, food, gas, horse related supplies, retail and entertainment. Some competitors tend to spend more than others. (For example, dressage competitors spend $259.00 per day while a driving competitor will spend $178.00 per day, on average).
• In total, the impact of visitor spending on the local area totals $3.5 million annually.
“We have a strong sense, based on the positive feedback we get from our members and competitors who visit us every year, of what GMHA means to them, but this is the first time we measured this within our local community,” says GMHA Executive Director Marty Hunt. “It is also helpful to have this quantitative data to demonstrate what GMHA means to the local economy of greater Woodstock.”
The survey of business owners was conducted to determine business perceptions of GMHA and its impact on the community. The 37 businesses interviewed spanned the lodging, retail, and dining establishments and were located in the Greater Woodstock area.
The findings included:
• Local businesses had favorable perceptions of GMHA, with most responding that GMHA has a positive or highly positive impact on the community and their business.
• Businesses reported that GMHA event weekends ranked above average compared to other weekends.
• Many GMHA visitors reported that they visit downtown Woodstock to browse or shop. Over half say they have or will come to Woodstock for reasons other than attending a GMHA event.
The survey also offered an open-ended response section in which business owners were asked to reply to the question, “What more can GMHA do to help local businesses?” The responses fell into three broad categories:
• Provide more communication regarding what is happening and when;
• give GMHA visitors more information about what is going on in Woodstock and the surrounding towns; and
• help businesses promote themselves to visitors, for example, by distributing discount coupons or special offers.
Founded in 1926, GMHA is a non-profit organization committed to equestrian sports, education, and trail preservation. For more information, contact GMHA at 802 457-1509, or visit its Web site at


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