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PERRY, Iowa-A new economic study has been completed on the Raccoon River Valley Trail, showing riders spend $13-14 dollars per person, per visit on the trail. The Raccoon River Valley Trail covers nearly 90 miles from Waukee to Jefferson. The study was done by Iowa State University business students as a part of their Cy-Biz team.

The students visited with riders during the summer months to ask about what they did and how much they spent.

“We’re seeing a lot more usage and demand for different services,” said Mike Wallace, Executive Director of the Dallas County Conservation Board. “We wanted to see what the numbers were, what the people wanted and how much they’re spending.”

Estimates are 300,000 to 400,000 riders come to the RRVT each year. This is based on counters placed along the trail by the RRVT Association.

“People who use trails, and trails in general it’s a good family oriented activity,” said Wallace. “People who come to town, they spend money, what towns need to realize is that they will spend money, and they need to provide reasons and ways for them to stay in town longer.”

When Dallas County Conservation Board initiated this study, its something we’ve been looking for, “ said Bob Wilson, of the Perry Chamber of Commerce. “It’s not always pretty to talk about numbers, and dollars, but that’s what economic development is for tourism.”

Wallace also talked about how a link is planned between the RRVT and the High Trestle Trail from Woodward. Wallace said that project is estimated to cost around $5 million, and is at least five years away from being completed.