The Economic Impact of Public Leisure Services in Illinois


  • Michael A. Kanters
  • M. Randy Botkin


Economic impact, public leisure services.


Persistent public scrutiny and shrinking public funding of leisure services have required recreation administrators to seek new ways to maintain support for their programs. Economic impact studies have proved to be a valuable tool in the "battle" for tax· dollars. This study examines the economic impact of public leisure services on Illinois's economy. Visitor expenditure surveys and an examination ofleisure service agencies purchases, productions, and employee compensations were factored into an input-output model of the Illinois economy using MicroiMPLAN, a microcomputer-based system for regional economic analysis. Results indicated that lllinois park districts had a total output multiplier of 1.58 and an employment multiplier of 1.47, and forest preserves had a total output multiplier of 1.66 and a 1.32 employment multiplier. The total economic impact of Illinois leisure services was about $3.1 billion. These data support the argument that the people of lllinois receive economic benefits that exceed their costs for the recreation services provided by park districts, forest preserve, and conservation districts.





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