Press Release: 2012 Oregon Brewers Festival Generates $30 Million for Local Economy

Oregon Brewers FestivalA recently completed study estimates the economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. – Sept. 12, 2012 – A recently completed study estimates the economic impact of the 2012 Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) on the local economy at $30 million. This was the second year that Jeff Dense, Professor of Political Science at Eastern Oregon University, and his Politics and Beer class conducted a survey on the grounds of the festival.

Dense and his students administered 680 on-site interviews at Tom McCall Waterfront Park between July 26 and July 28, 2012. Dense then utilized IMPLAN (IMpact Analysis for PLANning), a data and software package, to estimate the economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on Multnomah County.  He determined that the 2012 OBF generated $21.15 Million in direct and $8.87 Million in indirect economic output.

“The Oregon Brewers Festival has a profound impact on the local economy,” explained Dense. “Although the tourism industry is the primary beneficiary of the OBF, a wide range of local industries economically benefit from the country’s largest outdoor beer festival.”

Respondents were queried on demographic factors, along with estimates of OBF related expenditures in tourism-related categories, including transportation, lodging, meals, gasoline purchases, non-beer related recreation, beer purchased to take home, and expenditures at OBF.

Findings of the study include:

  • The $8.9 Million indirect economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival affects 91 local industry sectors more than $10,000.
  • More than 350 jobs were created as a result of the OBF.
  • The 2012 OBF generated a total added value of $11.8 Million.
  • Visiting OBF patrons spent an average of $649.
  • Accommodations ($9.31 Million) and food and drink ($7.96 Million) accounted for the majority of OBF visitor expenditures.
  • The majority of OBF patrons were out-of-town visitors.
  • Nearly a third (30.3%) of OBF attendees participated in beer tourism during their visit, visiting area breweries and brewpubs.
  • More than half of OBF patrons (52.1%) were attending the festival for the first time.
  • Women accounted for a significant percentage (33%) of OBF attendees.
  • While 21-29 year old attendees constitute the largest age demographic (30.2%) of OBF patrons, the 50+ crowd has a significant presence (26%) at the festival.

The recent study replicated the 2011 Oregon Brewers Festival analysis, which estimated the estimated economic impact of the festival at $23.2 Million. A series of methodological adjustments – including moving So. Washington out of the local category – along with the full implementation of the IMPLAN software, provided a more robust and accurate estimate of the economic impact of this year’s festival.

The OBF always takes place the last full weekend in July, and annually draws 80,000 visitors from around the world.  The 26th annual event will take place July 25 through July 28, 2013. For more information, visit www.oregonbrewfest.com.

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