An Empirical Study of the Role of Recreation, Parks and Open Space in Companies' (Re)Location Decisions


  • John L. Crompton
  • Lisa L. Love
  • Thomas A. More


Recreation, parks, open space, quality oflife, business location, economic development.


The sample consisted of senior officials from 73 different economic development agencies in Colorado and the key decision makers from 17 4 businesses that had relocated, expanded or been launched in that state within the most recent five-year period. Company decision makers rated recreation/parks/open space to be significantly more important in location decisions than did economic development officials. Quality of life was rated to be significantly more important by respondents from small companies, whose organzations relocated or expanded from outside the state, the most "footloose" companies, and companies in which the ultimate decision maker also relocated with the company. Respondents from small companies rated recreation/parks/open space first among six quality-of-life elements in location decisions, while the emphasis among large firms was upon cost of living/housing. Given the growing importance of small companies in economic development, these findings suggest that in some contexts, recreation/parks/open space may have a substantially greater role to play in a community's level of economic development than has heretofore been recognized.





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